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Released: July 2012
ISBN: 9781476088839
ASIN: B008H72ACE
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PRAY AND DIE
Series: A Jordan Lacey Mystery, #1
Author: Stella Whitelaw
Length: Novella
Genre: Mystery
Price: $2.99

Someone has to investigate the sleepy streets of Latching, West Sussex – and that someone is Jordan Lacey, ex-policewoman, now advertising her services as a private investigator in the local paper and working out of a junk shop in the quiet part of town. Will there be enough crime in Latching to keep her in business? Errant husbands, runaway pets… it looks like there might be.

When Jordan discovers the body of a dead nun in an abandoned hotel, along with clues to a hidden WWII fortune, she realises she may have found more than she’d bargained for. Trouble is, she isn’t exactly popular with the local constabulary. So when her life appears to be in danger, the police – in the shape of the devastatingly attractive DI James – want more proof that she’s at risk than a slice of poisoned carrot cake sent to her by a “friend”. It will take an altogether more dramatic attempt on Jordan’s life to make DI James sit up and take notice.

Excerpt
"Look, is this really necessary? You know who I am."

"Jordan, you can't go breaking and entering premises and pretending it didn't happen when you're caught."

"But I used to work here."

"As far as the law is concerned, you are one of the peasants now," said Sergeant Rawlings, slamming the Custody Record shut. "You were found straddling the windowsill of the offices of Hemsworth & Co, Solicitors, Dayton Street, Latching. Don't tell me you were comforting a seagull with vertigo."

"I hadn't broken into anywhere and I hadn't entered," I protested, filtering my gaze on the familiar bleak walls of the station.

"Do you want a cup of tea?"

I nodded, wondering how I was going to get out of this one. It was humiliating. My first day working on my first case and I get arrested by a fresh-faced puppy probationer who should have been patrolling the streets looking for the real villans.

"Thank you," I said. It was canteen brew in the same thick cups which the Admin Officer thought appropriate for both law keepers and breakers. It wasn't my high profile Earl Gray but I needed the liquid and the caffeine. "Can I have a biscuit?" I added.

"Still not eating, Jordan?"

"Not the point. Show me food which isn't murdered, poisoned with chemicals or stuffed with additives and I'll eat it. I eat fish from the sea but it does have a chance of getting away."

Sergeant Rawlings produced some ancient digestive biscuits rimmed with fluff from the depths of his desk then showed me the way to the cells. I knew the way. He didn't have to show me.

"You'll have to wait in here, Jordan, until someone comes downstairs to interview you. It's hardly the Hilton, sorry."

The cells hadn't improved. Still narrow, rectangular cubicles with half-tiled walls, scuffed lino on the floor and a bunk bed with a thin plastic-covered foam mattress. The blue plastic had unmentionable stains. I didn't want to sit on it. I was pretty fastidious.

"I'd like some paper and a pen," I said, knowing my rights.

"Want to write a letter?"

"No, my memoirs."

What the reviewers are saying
Brit PI series
Stella Whitelaw has created a series about a woman who got kicked off a local police force. She becomes a PI and a junk shop owner. The books are full of quirky scenarios, and an often frustrating love angle. I love reading about places that I have visited in England. I've been to the South Downs, and Dorking. I can see these places in my mind's eye. ~ JM Greenwood, Amazon

• • •

I really enjoyed this - an 'English cosy' for the 21st century. Such a pleasant change from the usual gritty thrillers. And the private eye, Jordan Lacey came alive. A good one - hope there are more JL stories to come. ~ writergordon, Amazon

• • •

This if the first of 7 books by this author my cousin sent me, and I loved it. They're great light, murder mysteries that take place in a small village in the coast of England. Reminds me of a grown-up version of Nancy Drew, only the character is Jordan Lacey, who has a great sense of humor. Looking forward to reading the other books. ~ Barb, Goodreads

• • •

British woman private detective, Jordan Lacey, solves the murdr of a nun and identifies who is terrorizing a widow. Cute. Lacey is an x-cop and a current junk shop owner. Fun read. ~ Linda, Goodreads

• • •

Good solid mystery with an interesting loner heroine. ~ Gail, Goodreads

• • •

Jordan Lacey is delightfully quirky and endearing
Pray and Die is really a character study of a true original more than it's a mystery. Jordan is unique. She's fiercely independent, knows how to live on scarcely any money, and her thought processes don't always run along the same lines as the rest of us. This can be a very good thing . . . She may secretly hope for a knight on a white charger, but she's more prone to collecting a series of misfits: "So don't come to me for advice about men. I'm a loser. Leave them alone if you can. If you can't, pick a good 'un. If there aren't any around, then get a cat and a library ticket." . . . Although I'm a dog person myself, I think that's excellent advice . . . Even though I made friends with Jordan while I read about her and I did find this book to be a wonderful character study, the mystery was practically non-existent. If that doesn't matter to you, you should love this book about an endearing, quirky young woman. I do know that Jordan is such a charmer that I'm looking for the second book in this series. ~ Cathy G. Cole, Amazon

• • •

This is great!
I have never missed a Stella Whitelaw book! I love them all and this one certainly does not disappoint! ~ Emily Rogers, Amazon

• • •

An Original and Quirky Cozy by the Sea
Jordan Lacy is a clever, original heroine, with a quirky approach to life. Suffering with both asthma a plethora of unsuitable men, Jordan approaches her investigative business with the methodology she learned as a police woman, and with an unorthodoxy that leaves the reader grinning. She has a double bed sit, and a box of "props" she uses as disguises, a love for jazz, and a love of cooking, as well as a store front cover from which she sells underpriced treasurers - Jordan is truly an original. When things are not going well, then a trip to the beach or the pier will help. The author does an exquisite job both with the setting and with allowing the reader insight into Jordan. This is a well thought out, and cunningly developed British cozy with heart beating drama on the last few pages. Enjoy! ~ Marmalinde, Amazon

 

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