1st Impressions: A Cassidy James Mystery by Kate Calloway

This is the first in an eight book series featuring private investigator Cassidy James. I’m going to be lazy and copy and paste the blurb. With a mystery, I don’t want to give away too much and have people mad at me.

The problem with dumping a body in Rainbow Lake is that it rises almost immediately to the top, even when weighted down with rope and cement… 

After the mutilated corpse of a wealthy summer resident is found in the quiet, lakeside town of Cedar Hills, Oregon, the man’s beautiful niece, Erica Trinidad, hires rookie private investigator Cassidy James to track down her uncle’s killer. Cassidy uncovers a bizarre series of crimes she believes is tied to the murder, leading her to the horrifying conclusion that the killing has just begun. But the town’s sexist police sergeant could care less what an uppity female gumshoe thinks. And besides, the authorities almost have enough evidence to book their number one suspect—Erica Trinidad. 

Cassidy’s investigation is further complicated by the growing sexual tension between herself and Erica—until she learns the shocking secret of Erica’s not-too-distant past… 

First Published by Naiad Press 1996 
This first Bella Books edition has been augmented with substantial additional text and contains editorial changes from the original.

This is a short book and it seemed to be about the perfect length. The author does a great job of moving the story along and keeping us guessing on some aspects but letting us figure out a good bit of it on our own. The character development wasn’t very deep but it didn’t need to be. While there is some romance in the book, it is, primarily, a murder mystery and focuses on that. Yes, there are two emotionally damaged women who are attracted to each other but we don’t really get into the nitty gritty of their damage. We know it’s there but it stays nicely in the background, allowing us to feel a bit of empathy for them, and then move on to the crimes that are in need of solving.

I liked Calloway’s style and her characters. Even when I didn’t like the characters, they were still well written. A few of them made my skin crawl.

So in summary, I liked the book a lot and will buy the second in the series.

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