Ok so this is a little out of my norm. The Artful Dodger by Nageeba Davis is a much more… real… and gritty murder mystery. I do have to warn you right now that there is a description of physical abuse that is current in the story and much more in detail recount of SEXUAL abuse of a minor in a character’s past. If these are triggers or turn offs for you please be aware of this content.
The main character is an artist who specializes in sculpting – clay and bronze. She also is the unlucky recipient of a dead body in her septic tank. Enter detective yummy… Villari. An Italian who is as handsome as he is frustrated with the emotional and prickly Maggie Kean.
I love the series title – A Maggie Kean Misadventure. She really is amazing at not only setting the detective on edge but putting herself in potentially dangerous situations.
There is a solid romance in this story though they do not get far into it in this book. The friends and family that pop up of these two AND the deceased are entertaining and varied and the mystery itself unexpectedly difficult to jump to a solution. I do have to admit, the teaching occupation the main character holds DID feel like a bit of an afterthought and was something I pretty much forgot about for most of the story.
I really enjoyed this story. Though more gritty than I am used to, I was not turned off by the abuse situations but interested in seeing how they played into the story and the mystery itself. Definitely a series I want to revisit later.