Diner Knock Out
Review: Rose Strickland was born into a wealthy influential family, but wanted to make her life on her own. She left her family's home to move into a four hundred square foot apartment on the "wrong side of the tracks". She got a job working as a waitress at Ma's Diner during the morning hours and was an assistant to a private investigator in the afternoon and evening. However, she really wanted to get her PI license and go about solve crimes full time. So far, however, her boss Andre Thomas has her doing mundane work in the office, like filing. While Andre is out on a case, a client comes to the office. His good friend, a MMA fighter and co-worker in a dojo, has been missing for almost a week. He is sure his friend would have told him if he was going away. The police won't help because the man is an adult and is free to do as he wishes. Rose agrees to take the case without informing Andre, in Diner Knock Out, the fourth mystery in this series by Terri L. Austin.
Rose's search takes her into the violent underworld of an illegal fight club. She turns to her bad-boy lover, Tom Sullivan, a crime lord himself (but one with morals, if a limited set of them) and also enlists the help of her BFF Roxy. Soon thereafter, Sullivan, who is also involved in the club as he is with most of the shady enterprises in the town, tells her that in no uncertain terms is she to not continue this investigation. She has placed herself in terrible danger and that of her friend. But, Rose will not quit even when Andre finds out about her taking on a client on the sly — and pro bono at that — and threatens to fire her. She figures that getting fired is the least of her worries.
Diner Knock Out seems to test the boundary of what is considered a "cozy" mystery, though to be sure there is a lot of appeal here for readers. There are many twists and turns, additional threats and murders, as Rose digs deeper and deeper into gangland world around her. The very well-structured and developed plot leaves the reader guessing as to what might happen next in Rose's investigation. The characters, from the diner owner Ma, a "hot" seventy-five year old looking for a husband, and BFF Roxy, who wears costumes to work at the diner, to the nastiest of the underworld criminals are exciting and well-defined. Overall, a strong entry in this series, one that will be enjoyed by existing fans and will have new readers quickly seeking out the previous books.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Diner Knock Out.
Acknowledgment: Henery Press provided an ARC of Diner Knock Out for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Diners, Dives & Dead Ends
Henery Press (Trade Paperback), July 2012
ISBN-13: 9781938383007; ISBN-10: 1938383001
Location(s) referenced in Diner Knock Out: Missouri
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Diner Knock Out by Terri L. Austin — A Rose Strickland Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: October 2015
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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