Jamie Quinn Mysteries #1-3 – REVIEWS

First of all, my sincere apologies to the author, Barbara Venkataraman, for taking so long to read these three books in the Jamie Quinn series and get the reviews written. I’m so sorry it has taken me so long.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Book Box Set Cover - Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection, Box set Books 1-3: Death by Didgeridoo; The Case of the Killer Divorce; Peril in the Park; all written by Barbara Venkataraman - background is black with the three book covers and orange writing.

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Photo of a didgeridoo - an Australian aboriginal instrument - wooden with a beaded pattern along the center of the instrument

Book #1 – Death by Didgeridoo – 4 out of 5 stars


Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It’s up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it’s too late. It doesn’t help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn’t commit.


This book was a good introduction to the series. It’s fairly short, almost more of a novella than a novel, but it moved along at a steady pace and gave us a good introduction to the main characters of the series.

So far, I really enjoy the characters. Jamie’s great and reminds me a lot of myself. Duke is over-the-top but in a totally believable, realistic way and I love him. All of the main characters seem to be well-developed. They’re perhaps not complex yet, but that’s mostly because we’re just now meeting them. I imagine the more books there are in the series, the more we’ll see them develop.

All in all, it’s a good start to the series!

line of books - some stacked, some standing, some leaning - books are blue, brown, red, green, and yellow
©Graphic Garden

Book #2 – The Case of the Killer Divorce – 3.5 out of 5 stars


Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, has returned to her family law practice after a hiatus due to the death of her mother. It’s business as usual until a bitter divorce case turns into a murder investigation, and Jamie’s client becomes the prime suspect. When she can’t untangle truth from lies, Jamie enlists the help of Duke Broussard, her favorite private investigator, to try to clear her client’s name. And she’s hoping that, in his spare time, he can help her find her long-lost father.


I didn’t enjoy this second book as much as I did the first. I felt like the pace was almost too fast. It was hard for me to keep up with what was going on. This is another shorter book, more of a novella than a novel.

It’s not a horrible book. The mystery plot line is interesting and so is the sub-plot of Jamie trying to find her father. However, I’m glad this one was sandwiched in between two much better stories. If this was the only story I had read of the series, I may not have continued with it.

However, the sub-plot of Jamie trying to find her father is important to the overall story arc, so I do recommend that you read this book, even tho’ it’s not as good as the first or third.

Park scene with people walking dogs, sitting on benches, walking with children or as couples.

Book #3 – Peril in the Park – 4.5 out of 5 stars


There’s big trouble in the park system. Someone is making life difficult for Jamie Quinn’s boyfriend, Kip Simons, the new director of Broward County parks. Was it the angry supervisor passed over for promotion? The disgruntled employee Kip recently fired? Or someone with a bigger ax to grind? If Jamie can’t figure it out soon, she may be looking for a new boyfriend because there’s a dead guy in the park and Kip has gone missing! With the help of her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie must race the clock to find Kip before it’s too late.


In my opinion, this is the best out of all three books. It feels as though Ms. Venkataraman has finally found the “groove” and the writing is flowing more smoothly. This book was more a full-length novel instead of the shorter novella length of the first two.

In this book, we see lots of the interpersonal relationships between the main characters grow and change. The mystery is fascinating and while I had some idea of the villain before the end of the book, I wasn’t certain until it was revealed.

I really enjoyed this third book and I’m looking forward to the fourth in the series, which I have on my Kindle, but it may be some time before I can get to it. June and July are already pretty full with books to read for review. 🙂

line of books - some stacked, some standing, some leaning - books are blue, brown, red, green, and yellow
©Graphic Garden

*** Many thanks to Barbara Venkataraman for providing me with an e-copy of these books. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***

The Fountain of Infinite Wishes – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Fountain of Infinite Wishes is the latest installment in the Dare River series by Ava Miles. Once again, Ms. Miles has brought us a phenomenal story.


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Brief Synopsis:

Shelby McGuinness, along with her sister, Sadie, wants to find her father who left their family when she was 2 and Sadie was just an infant. She hires Vander Montgomery, a private investigator in Nashville, to find him. Sparks fly between the two and a romance is born.

Black & White clipart of a 3-tier fountain with a brick base


I absolutely loved this book. While I’m personally more like Sadie in temperament, I thoroughly enjoyed Shelby. She’s vivacious and daring without being too impulsive. Her personality just sparkles off the page. She and Vander are attracted to each other from the start, but Vander is resolute in his ethics and will not date her as long as she is a client.  It makes for interesting meetings between the two of them at times.  Both characters are well-developed, complex characters. We learn a lot about their beliefs and hopes and past lives. They rely on each other for support and comfort even when they don’t realize they’re doing so; even before they started dating.

The only thing that disappointed me was how shocked and appalled the characters were upon meeting someone who is morbidly obese. I realize that’s not how these characters choose to live their lives, but their reactions to me seemed too harsh. I would have thought that their mama, being a reverend, would have had them do service work in poor areas similar to the one this person lived in; that they would have been more used to dealing with those situations and feelings than they seemingly were. They did show compassion to the person, but their reactions almost seemed more harsh with that than they were towards the horrible reason why their father left (which was far worse, but I won’t spoil it).

However, that was just a short piece of the story. While it disappointed me, the story and the characters generally were just wonderful. That piece is the only reason why this story didn’t receive 5 full stars because I simply loved the rest of the story.

I enjoy the Dare River setting and characters. In fact, I think it’s my favorite out of the three series Ms. Miles writes, so I always enjoy “coming home” to these stories and characters. I enjoy the fact that even this particular story is about Shelby and Vander, we see the rest of the family from time to time. Some more than other of course, but we get a glimpse at all the extended family which made me happy.

The descriptions of the various settings in this book balance well with the descriptions of the characters. Ms. Miles is very talented in that way. She gives us enough detail that we can imagine the scene, but doesn’t over saturate the scene in our own imaginations.

The story line moved along at a decent pace.  I was pleased that Vander didn’t ask Shelby out until after he’d finished with finding her father. It was one of his many fine qualities. I also appreciated the way the family gathered around each other upon learning the horrible reason their father left. I was very happy to see that they didn’t take their negative feelings out on one another, but rather found comfort from each other.

If you enjoy stories about family, people finding each other, friendship, and a bit of romance, I’d highly suggest picking up this title. Enjoy!

[I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.]

Black & White clipart of a 3-tier fountain with a brick base