Let it be known that the title and the subtitle of Jessie Chandler’s newest venture into Minnesota with Shay O’Hanlon’s quirky cast of amateur sleuths (peace JT!) are indicative of what to expect. The book is not by coincidence called a “caper”. Since we can rule out with reasonable doubt that this is an allusion to the condiment/berry, it must mean what is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a frolicsome leap” or a “capricious escapade” or “an illegal or questionable act” — take all three of these definitions, churn them, and out comes the newest book in a series which proves ever so delightful for all of us who like to read something off the beaten track. And by the way, the book can be read as a stand-alone or enjoyed as book 4 in the ongoing series. The title itself brings us into the middle of the story since Shay, the main character (and she is indeed a character!) is certainly a chip off her old man and then some and it is not only icy cold in Minnesota where the tale is set, but the story kind of hinges around an Ice Block and a murder!
Here is what the blurb unveils:
It’s the dead of winter in Minnesota, and Shay O’Hanlon can’t wait to close up her coffee shop and get out of town with her girlfriend, Minneapolis cop JT Bordeaux. But when she receives a call informing her that her dad is missing, Shay’s plans for a romantic getaway are put on ice. Figuring her dad is on one of his periodic benders, Shay is shocked to learn that his gun has been used in a murder. With the dead man found in a giant ice cube unable to provide any answers, Shay and her quirky friends are bound and determined to find her father—and the real killer—before the trail turns cold.
What makes this series so enjoyable and different? First there is the unlikely likely cast of “outcasts” who continue to march through the book: Coop, Eddy, Dawg … are only the start of lifelike secondary characters which are memorable and create mayhem whenever you turn the page. Next there is this pervasive, low-level, sneaky kind of humor and wordplay only a master wordsmith such as Jessie Chandler can put together. It is a delight to savor for any connoisseur of language. Next the setting: If you ever thought of Minnesota in winter as dark, dull, and boring – this book will prove you are dead wrong. I still don’t plan to move there, but it has its moments (think or google Minnesotan carnival and TheVulc – who knew?). And of course there are quite a lot of surprising turns and angles in the story, last but by no means least the big bang at the very end. So buckle in for an icy, chuckle-inducing, fast-paced roller-coaster under the overcast skies of wintry Minnesota. Enjoy!
You can download a sample or purchase Chip Off the Ice Block Murder by clicking here.