Cash Kills by Nanci Rathbun

by Nanci Rathbun

Nanci Rathbun, Cash Kills, Angie Bonaparte, Private InvestigatorFor a 50-something mom, Angie Bonaparte can sure handle the bad guys. Angie is a believable blend of tough stuff and compassion, and uses both for her clients. But just like organizing all the dishes to a huge Thanksgiving dinner, Nanci Rathbun stirs up tension and keeps us licking our chops for the final sit-down.

With well-placed exposition, and clear introduction of secondary characters, the author sends our protagonist on a seemingly mundane financial inheritance investigation, which soon explodes into an appalling murder and horrific revelations from the Bosnian War.

While the entrée is cooking, meet Bobby, a sweet and brotherly cohort, who shows us just what he’s made of during an exciting chase scene that will quicken your heartbeat. There is Ted, Angie’s delicious “special friend” and Ted’s mom, who is rather intriguing with a story of her own. I hope to learn more about her in the next book. And Spider, a security bodyguard with a heart. There are some Stephanie Plum elements here, but Angie is truer to life and thus able to earn my empathy.

The inheritance issue, murder investigation, transformation of Adriana, and a turn in Angie’s relationship with Ted, are all bound neatly together in an orderly menu. The author does a splendid job of keeping the threads pulled in the same direction, all tumbling toward the finale. A satisfying conclusion to the investigation leads you to think all is well. Ah, but there is that huge family Thanksgiving dinner to attend. And introducing Ted to Angie’s Sicilian-American Papa is not going to be a piece of cake.

Truth Kills, by Nanci Rathbun
An Angelina Bonaparte Mystery
Genre:  Mystery, Private Investigator

Truth Kills, Nanci Rathbun, Angelina Bonaparte MysteryI want to be Angie.  She is confident, daring, smart, resourceful, empathetic, and 50-ish.  So it’s okay for her to stumble a little and show us how real she is.  Which she does.  A romantic interest subplot flows along at a realistic pace, and casual sardonic side remarks will bring out many well-timed chuckles.   Secondary characters are not stock but intriguing and entertaining.  The attention to investigative details will bring you closer to Angie as you sit alongside her and try to piece together motive, means and opportunity.

It is easy to see how the ‘family’ background provides the impetus for Angie’s actions.  A good tense moment near the end provides satisfying justification to the prior build in action.  With everything tidied up at the end, I’m hoping book two will have an equally engaging subplot as I sneak along with Angie during her next assignment.  This is a solid investigative mystery with a well-defined and pretty darn cool protagonist, clear obstacles, and an enjoyable read the whole way through.

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