by Alyssa Day
Series: Tiger's Eye Mystery #1
Publisher: SilverHart Publishing
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
For Jack Shepherd, tiger shape-shifter and former soldier, life is heading for a dead end. Dead End, Florida, to be exact. When he learns that he inherited a combination pawn shop/private investigation agency from his favorite uncle, Jack’s first job is to solve his uncle’s murder. Because sometimes it takes a tiger’s eye to see the truth.
This novel is a paranormal mystery with magic, shape shifters, humor, vampires, a taxidermied alligator, witches, gunshots, bad singing, Crazy Hormonal Town, terrible parking, the FBI, swamp commandos, tigers, special agents, flirting, belly laughs, comedy, humor, and a pawn shop.
“A tiger, an alligator, and a redneck walked into my pawnshop.”
You know any book that starts out with that as an opening line is going to be great! This book belongs to the peculiar genre that’s best known for Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series – cozy paranormal mysteries with a dash of romance. Since I love all things paranormal, romance, and cozy mysteries, this was right up my alley.
It was only after I started reading this that I discovered it ties in with a previous 8 book series. It was mildly confusing because it felt like there was a lot of backstory we were already supposed to know regarding the vampire war. However, the book is from Tess’s first person POV, so since she doesn’t really know that much about the other events, it was more of a minor annoyance.
Dead End, Florida is full of interesting characters – some who are hiding some supernatural secrets – and Tess is one of them. Sometimes when she touches a person, she can see their death. Due to her secret, Tess has given up her dreams of college and has stayed in her hometown, working at the local pawnshop. Jack has been away for years, and has only come back because his uncle has died and left him half of the pawnshop. He intends to sign over his half to Tess and then head out again, but, of course, the morning he comes back, a dead body is dumped at the backdoor of the pawnshop – again. And that’s how Jack discovers that his uncle was murdered. But are the murders of two people in this small, weird town related?
“Maybe the secret wasn’t that some people were so much braver than the rest of us. Maybe the secret was that you just quit giving a damn when you had nothing else to lose.”
Tess is caring and brave, and protective of her friends. Jack was more of a cipher, at least for me coming in without any prior knowledge, but his flirting with Tess was adorable. There’s a definite attraction between Tess and Jack, though it doesn’t go beyond a few kisses in this book. I’m assuming that the “will-they-won’t-they” will, in true cozy mystery fashion, be an underlying theme of the series, and the ending definitely left the door open for more books.
The mystery was pretty predictable, but, honestly, that didn’t really bother me. I feel like these types of cozy mysteries are more about exploring the partnership between the two main characters, and getting introduced to a cast of quirky characters, and the book doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s plenty of humor, including a tigger joke that made me choke on my tea.
This was just so delightfully fun, and reading it put a smile on my face, and I happily added the next in the series to my TBR list. Recommended for anyone looking for a quick, fun, and cozy read – especially ones involving taxidermy alligators!