Originally published 2016-04-13: A lesbian private detective? Count me in!
My wife has been bugging me for months (well, maybe years…) to read Sandra Scoppettone’s Lauren Laurano series of mystery books.
I resisted, not because I wasn’t interested in a lesbian private detective, but because I wasn’t ready to start a new series. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to stop once I had started, since I already had the full set on the book shelf staring at me. (And since I had already loved some of her previous books.)
A few days ago, I finally decided to take her word for it and start the series with the first book, Everything You Have Is Mine (Lauren Laurano #1).
Private investigator Lauren Laurano makes her funny and suspenseful debut as a sleuth who must take on a rapist, a killer, a tangle of family relationships, her own fears, and New York City itself in order to solve several murders. Far from being the usual hard-bitten tough, Lauren is terrified of insects, computers, and blood. She’s pretty, quirky, funny and a lesbian.
[…In] her latest case, she’s been hired by an elegant, mysterious woman to find the rapist of her younger sister, Lake. Violent sex soon turns to violent death, and it’s up to Lauren to discover whether Lake’s rapist is also a murderer… Along the seamy trail of the killer, Lauren confronts fears both big and small, as well as the terrible fact that people whether abusive or abused, often refuse to tell (or face) the truth.
The first thing that struck me about this book was the main character’s voice. She exaggerates (A LOT), and sarcasm is her middle name. At 42, she’s as worried about crow’s feet as she is about doing her job – or so it seems at the beginning.
Once I got into the book, however, I found that there was a lot more to P.I. Lauren Laurano than vanity and a strong sweet tooth. As the description says, she’s a private detective who works with the police solving horrible crimes, but she still gets the heebie-jeebies when a bug flies by. She’s a study in contradictions.
On the one hand, she’s struggling through PTSD from a horrible tragedy in her youth. On the other, she puts herself in harm’s way to get to the bottom of a mystery – even if her services are no longer wanted.
Lauren Laurano isn’t a perfect character. In fact, she’s a lot more real than a lot of characters I’ve read. There’s a depth to her personality that I found really refreshing.
I give Everything You Have Is Mine (Lauren Laurano #1) by Sandra Scoppettone three-and-a-half of five stars for being a page-turner with a main character that felt like someone I could be friends with in real life. I highly recommend it to fans of PIs, strong female leads, and non-erotic lesbian fiction.
This is book #9 on my quest to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks.
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