Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic, kick-butt, Muslim American heroine, ready to take on crime in her hometown of Las Almas. When a new case finds the private eye caught up in a centuries-old battle of evil genies and ancient curses, Scarlett discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks — and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father’s murder.
Jennifer Latham delivers a compelling story and a character to remember in this one-of-a-kind debut novel. (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
I’m actually kind of surprised more people haven’t read this, because it seems like the kind of diverse book bloggers have been screaming for. Most of the characters in this book are Muslim-American, and yet I can’t think of anyone who I follow who’s written a review for this.
Scarlett is a private detective, having graduated school two years early. She carries a blackjack, takes martial arts and knows how to drop a tail. Her father was murdered, her mother died from cancer, so it’s just her and her older sister, Reem. Their mother’s death affected them differently. Scarlett has started drifting away from her Muslim Heritage, while Reem clings to it tighter. Scarlett’s detective work is something she and her sister disagree on, but Scarlett keeps doing it.
One day, a nine-year-old girl finds herself in Scarlett’s office. She tells Scarlett that her brother has been acting weird ever since one of his friends committed suicide, and had heard her brother threatening the kid the day before. Scarlett thinks that the girl is just looking for signs that aren’t there, but then she finds a knotted design scratched on the back of his door. Maybe it’s not just a simple suicide case after all.
This book had an interesting writing style to it. It felt modern, but at the same time it felt like those old paperback detective stories that you can find in hundredfold in used bookstores and my uncle’s basement. It was the way Scarlett talked, like she was trying to not only act like a private detective, but think like one, as well.
But there were some points to the book that slowed it down. There was very little character development for the side characters. Deck, Elliot, Reem, Mook, they all where just kind of there, but you only really find out about their names and the very top of their personality. And for being the one that directed Scarlett to the case, Gemma is in the book a very small amount.
The mystery itself also felt rather weak. While I enjoyed this book, it’s not one I’m going to go recommending to everyone I see.
The reason I haven’t posted in the last few days is simple; something is glitching for WordPress. Normally what I do is at the beginning of every week I write and schedule the rest of my posts for the week, so I don’t have to get up early every morning and write them. But for whatever reason, when I either try to post a draft or a scheduled post posts, it becomes a page. It’s really weird and super annoying, so until it gets figured out, my posting might be a bit odd in it’s schedule.