Follow Her Home
A Juniper Song Mystery by Steph Cha
Review: Juniper Song is a student of Philip Marlowe and fancies herself a contemporary version of the classic sleuth. So when an opportunity comes along that allows her to put into practice all that she's read about, she jumps right in, in Follow Her Home, the first mystery in this series by Steph Cha.
Song — everyone calls her that — is asked by her close friend Luke Cook to determine if his father, a founding partner with of Stokel, Levinson & Cook, is having an affair with one of his employees, Lori Lim, a woman young enough to be his daughter. Song thinks it will be an easy assignment of tailing one or the other, but soon thereafter she's knocked unconscious and later, after waking up, finds a dead body in the trunk of her car. "For all my fascination with the violence of noir," she thinks to herself, "I had never fantasized its intrusion into my own life." The dead man turns out to be another employee of the Cook law firm … and this case for Song was turning out to be far more complicated than Song had ever imagined.
Stylistically, Follow Her Home is written more along the lines of a teen novel than an adult one. Indeed, Song is far more Nancy Drew than Philip Marlowe. The murder mystery storyline is straight-forward enough, but is intercut with a backstory about Song and her sister Iris, information that is probably intended to add depth to the character of Song but which comes across as completely orthogonal to the narrative of her investigation. Song mentally tries to justify her actions in the present with what has happened in the past, that one is a consequence of the other, but it just doesn't work here. It's not so much confusing as it is an unnecessary intrusion into the story. Maybe now that Song has dealt with the past, as it were, the next in the series will allow her to grow more as a person in the present.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided an ARC of Follow Her Home for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Follow Her Home: Los Angeles, California
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Follow Her Home by Steph Cha — A Juniper Song Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: April 2013
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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