Drinks Are On Joe

It seems like it was early in my blogging days that I happened upon author J.A. Konrath in some writer’s forum or another, posting about the cover art of one of, I thought her mystery novels featuring detective Jacquelyn "Jack" Daniels.    But my memory is apparently not quite up to snuff as it turns out that J.A.  is a guy named Joe Konrath.   In any case, I have finally got around to reading the fourth and first of these mixed drink-titled books.     And what a great character and series this turned out to be.

Dirty Martini is a fast-paced thriller about a huge rash of food poisonings that are killing people right and left in Chicago.  Jack Daniels comes across as a very complex woman,  at times witless and inept in her personal life,  while being utterly brilliant at times on the job.   The case evolves into a battle of wits between Daniels and the food tamperer,  who has sabotaged the wedding reception of a police captain’s daughter and Daniels must figure out the mystery,  stop the wedding reception and chase and catch the perp.   It’s a rollicking roller coaster of a suspense novel and is Highly Recommended.

After happening upon  Dirty Martini in the new fiction stacks and reading it,  I went ahead and ordered the very first Jack Daniels novel, Whiskey Sour.   It’s a stunning debut.  Jack has just been deserted by her boy friend when a high profile murderer who calls himself the Gingerbread Man begins a spree of brutal murders, the bodies of the victims left in high visibility locations and always with a gingerbread man cookie.    Konrath quite suceeds in making Daniels a very real and fallible character, even though she really is good at being a police officer and solving crimes.   I’m delighted to welcome Jack to the ranks of Kinsey (Milhone), Harry (Harristeen) and Goldy (Shulz), my favorite female fictional detectives.    And while a character does inevitably drink the title cocktail during the course of the novel,  it is also worth noting that these books seem to have very little at all to do with alcohol and drinking.    Whiskey Sour.   Highly Recommended.