Jamie Quinn is a divorce lawyer living in south Florida and doing whatever she can to just stay at home and never go back to work. Haven’t we all felt this way at one time or another? Jamie’s mother just recently died and she’s depressed and even though she has the money to pay her bills this won’t last forever. And there’s her her cat, Mr. Paws, that Jamie inherited from her mother. There’s nothing more that Mr. Paws likes to do than to eat and feeding a cat costs money. The cat doesn’t even appreciate Jamie and what she does for him what with all his hissing at her. It would be an understatement to say that they do not get along.

So off Jamie goes back to work thinking that she’ll soon be back in court helping unhappy married couples divorce each other. But suddenly Jamie is defending murder suspects, like her cousin Adam who was accused of murdering his music teacher, a former rock star. And she’s defending her family law client whose soon to be ex hubby is found dead and the wife is the suspect. Jamie also finds herself searching for her new boyfriend, Kip Simons the director of Broward County parks, who disappeared after they found a dead body.

What is going on here? This isn’t family court, this isn’t divorce cases, this is murder and all of a sudden Jamie has to deal with the state’s District Attorney, Nick Dimitropoulos, who’s the son of a state senator. Well, Nick is kind of cute so there is a good side.

At least she she has some help from a former client Marmaduke (Duke) Broussard, the Third, a charming, beer loving, woman loving, cheating scoundrel  who also happens to be one terrific private investigator. Duke is ready, willing, and able to help Jamie get all the information she needs, not to mention giving her things she doesn’t want, at least not from him.

Grace Anderson, Jamie’s best friend and an in house counsel for a large securities firm, is right by her side helping with legal advice that might be needed.

But just in case Jamie doesn’t have enough to do with her family law practice and helping people accused of murder, she’s also trying to get her father, Guillermo Franco, into the United States from Nicaragua where he was exiled to from Cuba. It’s a long story.

Jamie Quinn is going through a lot and all of this is told in the “Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection: Box Set Books 1-3” by Barbara Venkataraman  and it’s a fun book. Or rather, fun three books.

This is the kind of novel that embarrasses you because you’re laughing out loud if you read in public. Ms. Esquire, as Duke likes to call Jamie, hopes that all the hours she spent watching “Law and Order” marathons, “Castle”, and “The Mentalist” will help prepare her for cases, even though she doubts it. I think most of people, including myself, believe that they can be good lawyers for those same reason, which is why I like Jamie so much. She’s down to earth, watches television and proud of it, has strange family dynamics, nutty friends, and would rather stay home than work. Sounds like me and almost everyone I know.

Female readers, just like the female characters in the book, will fall in love with P.I. Duke Broussard, a man as non perfect and charming as a male can get. He flirts too much, he drinks too much, and practically lives at a bar, what’s not to love?

Jamie is surrounded with some good friends and now that I’ve read three books in this series I consider myself her friend too. Author Barbara Venkataraman has created funny, interesting, and unique characters and I suspect that Jamie is really Ms. Venkataraman in disguise. You can’t write characters like these unless you’re just like them. And that’s a compliment.

The “Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection” three box set is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to a new cozy series. Worth every cent and it isn’t even expensive. There is no price for some good reading fun.


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