Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A new series for Tutu: Joe Ceepak mysteries

Back in December I got hooked on a new detective series.  I needed a break from all the serious literary fiction I was reading for the Maine Reader's Choice Awards. I had several Audible credits to spend, and several of my LibraryThing friends recommended these. I'm hooked. The Joe Ceepak mysteries are fun fun fun---great characters, good plots, terrific setting - The Jersey shore. So far I've read the first 4 - waiting for the next batch to go on sale!

Joe is a straight arrow police officer with an unshakable code of honor that broaches no lying, cheating, or allowing anyone else to lie or cheat.  He's recently returned from Iraq/Afghanistan service as an MP. Like most vets, he brings some baggage (like not wanting to drive the squad car because of an IED incident).   He is paired with a smark-aleck college grad "summer cop" Danny Boyle who has much to learn about policing, resents not being allowed to carry a gun, but who deeply admires Joe Ceepak and his code of honor. Ceepak in turns develops an abiding admiration for Danny's abilities and a team is formed.

The mysteries all take place in a Jersey Shore town full of amusement parks, boardwalk attractions, and restaurants of dubious culinary merit. They are some of the best fun I've had reading in a long time. Good cop stuff but not so grimy and heavy that I come away depressed. These are definitely "try 'em, you'll like 'em" kinda stuff. The characters are well drawn in the first volume, but Grabenstein progresses in each new story with a deeper sketch of each, and with new character to enhance the group.  There are nine of these so I'm sure to be reading more.


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