Friday, July 29, 2016

strictly literary: person of interest by emery harper

person of interest kicks off a new mystery series by emery harper. while the novel struggles with tone at first, partly reading like overcooked bukowski or chandler, until it settles down and finds the main character's voice. celeste eagan is a drama teacher at a texas prep school. her life changes when she discovers the principal of her school hanging above his desk in apparent suicide.

somehow celeste finds herself listed as a person of interest. needless to say she finds this upsetting and in order to help clear her name she begins a campaign of amateur sleuthing. it's hard to say whether her efforts help or hinder the investigation. but they do certainly put her in danger, and right into the path of the detective running the investigation, shaw muldoon. while celeste doesn't aspire to be watched by the police she can't help but enjoy the moments she gets to spend with muldoon. the chemistry between these two crackles. unfortunately it's just not done to become involved with the cop investigating your role in a possible murder. one can only hope this particular scenario won't be the set up in the next novel in the series, because while this forbidden lust thing is okay for a while, it will be incredibly boring to read book after book of these two characters fighting their attraction.

the secondary characters in the novel are also fun, celeste's best friend, levi; her ex-husband, colin, and his horrible girlfriend, naomi, who are kind of at fault for landing her in the middle of the case; kellen schaefer, a local reporter and the police chief's son, and annabelle, celeste's new boss. shaw also has a large family, including one brother, finn, who is described as just as good-looking and is also a cop. there is plenty of room for these characters and the world of peytonville, texas to grow.

the novel reminded me of the heather wells mysteries by meg cabot. so if you liked those, you will definitely like this. i actually had a hard time categorizing this one, more than anything it is a comedy-mystery, but that doesn't feel quite literary. however, while there are romantic aspects, this is definitely not a romance novel, and it doesn't fit under that category either.

**person of interest will publish on august 29, 2016. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/carina press in exchange for my honest review. 

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