Cut Loose (Dusty Deals Mystery #2) - Rae Davies

I liked everything in this story much more than in the first book. The romance between Peter and Lucy was natural since it is their beginning and I really enjoyed their interactions the best (almost reading this series for their love story and not the mystery-see below). Peter's son Jeremy is heavily involved in the story, so if you like child plot moppets, this is a book for you; if not, understand that Jeremy is used quite well and is written as a child and not a small adult. In addition to child plot moppets, there is a Lucy's malamute (not a husky, damn it people!), but Kiska (the malamute) is adorable too (this coming from a pet person, YMMV). Peter's ex-wife Sheila is still one-dimensional and stereotypical character, but at this point she is for scenery. Lucy evolved a lot from the first book and was actually likable and a whole lot less TSTL, although she still had a cringe moment or two. I already noticed a trend with Rhonda's (Lucy's best friend and a decent side character) boyfriends - they are always tied to the mystery somehow...just a little to coincidental for my taste.

 

Still found the mystery part easy to solve long before Lucy or the police did. The reason for taking off a star in the rating is that the author did not resolve the question as to whether or not the victim was pregnant. I understand this book is designed to be a cozy mystery and not Law & Order: SVU episode, but I feel like this question needed to be answered for the completion of the story. Also, the detective working the case (not Peter, since he is too closely tied with two suspects) and Lucy's attorney are prominent in the first half of the book and no where to be found in the second half. I would have liked to see the detective grovel a little for Lucy's forgiveness.

 

I think I am going to continue reading the series and consider the first book a growing pain/set up. 4 stars.