A Mall Cop Mystery, No 1
Berkley Prime Crime
August 2011/ ISBN 978-0-425-24273-5
by Laura Hinds
Ferris grew up in the Hollywood culture of parties and hangovers.
Her dad was a famous actor, and Emma could have stayed there and
gotten into the business. Instead, she joined the Air Force and
spent time in Iraq. An IED exploded and injured her knee badly.
After a long hospitalization and rehab, the only job she can find
is as a mall cop. She’s working at the Fernglen Galleria near
Vernonville, VA, partially so that she can keep an eye on her grandfather.
Her grandfather is retired from the CIA, but still likes to keep
in on the action.
routine days of cruising around the mall on her Segway, taking care
of shoplifters, lost kids, and vandalism are suddenly shattered
when numerous reptiles from the Herpetology Hut are released by
vandals. Things get even worse when EJ happens upon a customer who
has just spotted a dead body in a store window. The man is naked,
and he is obviously a murder victim. The homicide detective assigned
to the case, Detective Helland, treats her with scorn, believing
that as a mall cop she will only bumble around and be in his way.
Therefore, EJ, being stubborn, decides to solve the case herself
to show him she’s made of better stuff than he gives her credit
for. Fortunately, she has good friends and her Grandpa to rely on
for extra help when she needs it.
This is an
interesting debut novel in what holds promise to be an enjoyable
series. Di Silverio paints each character with a broad stroke, allowing
the reader to get to know some things about them quite well, but
leaving enough to the imagination to whet one’s appetite for
future books. I liked that the book is fast-paced and has quite
a bit of action in nearly every chapter. There is no downtime for
day-to-day mundane things that can slow a story down.
itself does remain a mystery until almost the end. The killer could
have been any one of several suspects, and the outcome as to who,
what, when, where and why is believable. I look forward to reading
more of this series, and recommend it to cozy-mystery lovers of
all ages. It’s funny without being over-the-top, realistic
about what it means to be a mall cop, and while there isn’t
any romance to speak of in this book, there are possibilities for
EJ and a couple of the male characters. It will be fun to see how
the author advances EJ Ferris, mall cop.
Reviews of other titles in this
Die Buying # 1 [review]
All Sales Fatal # [review]
Malled to Death [review]