"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Driven To Ink by Karen E. Olson

A Tattoo Shop Mystery
Obsidian Mystery
Release Date September 7, 2010
3rd Book In Series

This series features tattoo artist, Brett Kavanaugh, who owns The Painted Lady tattoo shop that caters to high class clientele, she doesn't do "flash".  Her shop is in a ritzy mall in Las Vegas and from the outside looks more like an art gallery than a tattoo parlor. She lives with her brother who is a detective for the Las Vegas police.

Her employees include Bitsy who is a little person, but acts 10 feet tall, you don't want to mess with her.  Joel is a big man, very overweight and always on a diet, with a long braid that reaches his waist, and a soft voice.  You may picture him on a Harley until you hear him talk. And Ace, who is a frustrated artist, doing tattoos to earn the money he needs to live while creating comic book style paintings, some of which grace the walls of The Painted Lady.

This edition doesn't take long to grab your attention. In the very first paragraph Brett finds a dead body in the trunk of her treasured Bullitt Mustang.  Las Vegas is the home of the quickie wedding ceremony and Brett had lent her car to an elderly friend, Sylvia, a former tattoo shop owner, to use for her Drive-Thru Wedding. She never expected it to come back with a trunk full of trouble.  The body is identified as a Dean Martin impersonator from the wedding chapel, That's Amore. The elderly newlyweds are nowhere to be found, and than dead man had been strangled with a "clip cord", a power cord for a tattoo machine, that may have come from Brett's shop.

Before the "ink" is dry on the police report Brett jumps right into investigating the murder, much to the dissatisfaction of her brother and the detective assigned to the case.  She even teams up with the competition, Sylvia's son, who has taken over her business, and goes undercover posing as a couple wanting to get married to find out what is really going on at the wedding chapel.  They need to be careful or instead of crooning out Dean's famous tune "That's Amore" they maybe singing another of his famous tunes "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?".

I didn't expect to like this series or this book as much as I did, tattoos have never been my thing, but I really enjoyed these books. The stories are face paced, the characters are quirky but lovable, and the plots believable. The references to Sister Mary Eucharista, whenever Brett is lying, breaking and entering or doing anything unsavory just cracked me up.  I can't wait to see what Brett becomes "inkvolved" in Ink Flamingos coming out next June, I am sure it will include some cool new body art. 

You can find out more about this author, The Tattoo Mystery Series and her Annie Seymour Mysteries at her website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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