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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To Catch a Cop by Elle Druskin

To Catch a Cop by Elle Druskin
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (323 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

To Catch Series: Book 1

Forty-year-old single mother Lindy Kellerman needs a man, a secure job and an exercise program. What she gets is a dead student in her Sydney university nursing classroom.

Detective Fraser MacKinnon needs to meet a smart woman and can't decide whether to arrest Lindy or seduce her. With Lindy as chief suspect and threatened by the real killer, MacKinnon has his hands full.

Interrupted attempts at furthering their romance combine with Lindy's amateur sleuthing. Lindy's hunches and MacKinnon's skill leads them down a trail of false leads and university scandals with a murderer ready to strike again. Along the way Lindy and Fraser discover that love is definitely better the second time around.

This is a fun and intriguing story of a reader of hunky Scottish romances meeting her own modern day version of a Scottish warrior in a mostly unlikely way – via a murder.

Lindy is a harried single mom trying to hold down her position as a nursing teacher while balancing her budget, her kids and her lack of a love life. All that changes when one of her students winds up dead in her classroom. She goes through a lot of lemons in this book before she can finally make the sweetest ‘lemonade’. This mystery is told in first person POV for Lindy, the heroine, and third person POV for Fraser MacKinnon, the hero. The combination works quite well.

Lindy cracked me up with her internal dialogue and self-analysis. I personally found the author’s initial use of rambling introspection on Lindy’s part to be effective in depicting a woman who’s just had a most profound shock because at the same time it showcases her personality. She’s funny, determined, and a bit scatterbrained but a loving and nurturing woman as well. The author never lets a reader forget that she’s a mother. The kids aren’t props in this story; they are a part of what makes Lindy who she is. I enjoyed the slow build up of Lindy’s attraction to Fraser. At first it confounded her and as the story continued, she eventually realized why she got so flustered; and it grew from there. It was marvelous watching Lindy fall in love.

Fraser is completely adorable. I’m not sure if his actions are true to what detectives are like in Australia but I don’t really care. I loved how he had to balance courting her with his duties. I admired his protective stance of Lindy and how smart he really is. Fraser comes across as a mixture of Columbo mixed with the best traits of Starsky & Hutch – the original series. The whole scene where he surprises her at the victim’s apartment was like watching one of my favorite crime shows. It was a lot of fun. While investigating Lindy, Fraser finds her secret stash and his reaction had me giggling and breathless with anticipation. What was he going to do with this secret knowledge? I was grinning from ear to ear as I read where the book went from there. Another great thing about him is that he’s not one dimensional. The author brings out the personal side of Fraser through his own feelings about kids and families. His courting Lindy isn’t perfect and smooth and his imperfection made him the perfect man for her.

Another thing I enjoyed was their sexual frustration. Why would I say that? Simple, it’s funny. Here are these two people who are starting to feel the same sensual tug and when they get the time and the opportunity to do something, WHAM! Lovus interruptus. I couldn’t help but snicker every time.

I know I mention a lot about my laughing throughout the book and I did, but the sinister element is never far from the surface. One thing I want to point out is the scenes in italics. At first I wasn’t sure what was going on or why the author would even do that. Bear with it. It has a relevance to motive. I now wonder if I’d paid more attention would I have figured out the villain sooner. As it is, I never suspected. It was a very unique and fascinating choice for motive and I was quite impressed. In fact, in retrospect, Ms. Druskin did an excellent job of weaving the villain’s affect throughout the book.

The secondary characters enhanced or advanced the plot and story. The dialogue was brisk, informative, true to character and well paced. The entire scene with the poop was genius. There is actually much more I could say about this book because of its richness in character interaction and environment; it is that well written.

To Catch a Cop is a gripping read filled with a hero and heroine I could connect with and care for, an amazing concept for a criminal, and a romance that both tickled my funny bone and had me sighing with satisfaction. I loved reading this book and I definitely recommend it to readers of romantic mystery suspense. It delivers on all counts.