Skip to main content

2 Sisters Detective Agency


2 Sisters Detective Agency

I have to believe that one of the many reasons James Patterson has been a bestselling author for so many decades is his ability to find the right people with whom to partner. It’s no secret that, in addition to his outstanding Alex Cross novels, he has been coauthoring with dozens of different writers, some of whom have used that pairing as a launch pad for their own careers.

Australian author Candice Fox falls into this category. I’ve been a fan of hers from the start, but her work with Patterson has allowed her to rise above merely being known Down Under and become a top thriller writer on her own. Their latest collaboration is 2 SISTERS DETECTIVE AGENCY, which has the potential to develop into another successful series.

"The characters in 2 SISTERS DETECTIVE AGENCY are so bizarre and larger than life that I almost felt like I was reading a Tim Dorsey or Elmore Leonard novel."

Rhonda Bird is a public defender in Colorado who is settling in for another long day in the courtroom as she jumps from client to client. She is dreading having to defend Thad Forrester, a violent young man who wants her to get his case tossed. After the judge announces the charges against Forrester, she spies out of the corner of her eye someone making a beeline for him. She cuts off the stranger, knocks him off his feet, and twists his arm behind his back while waiting for the bailiff and security to take over. I guess being over six feet tall with pink hair and carrying 260 pounds of girth will make you a formidable obstacle.

Immediately following that altercation, Rhonda finds out that her father has died. She did not have a relationship with him, and the last time she checked, he was behind bars in California. When she arrives in Los Angeles for the reading of his will, she learns that he left her just one thing --- responsibility for a 15-year-old half-sister she never knew existed. Now, as both big sister and legal charge, Rhonda must acquaint herself with Barbara Ann Bird, who insists on being called Baby.

The surprises don’t stop there. It turns out that her dad found Jesus while in prison and attempted to turn his life around. Upon his release, he opened up a private detective agency that had modest success colloquially. It just so happens that Baby hung around long enough with their dad to have picked up some PI skills as she was mostly homeschooled during their time together. As Rhonda begins going through her father’s office, she turns up everything from weapons to a nice-sized stash of money. She knows it won’t be long before the owner of those bills comes knocking.

Ashton, a high school acquaintance of Baby, comes to the office but is quickly scared off once Rhonda starts to question him. Even though Ashton tries to play it off as a joke, Rhonda is fairly certain that he and his privileged colleagues may have bitten off more than they could chew with some local baddies. Baby takes Rhonda to the place that she shared with her dad only to find it overrun with young locals and surfer beach-bum types. In addition to this communal style of living, she notices enough pharmaceuticals on the floor to keep the local DEA busy for months.

Rhonda has a lot to juggle, and the living arrangements and court-appointed ward are just the start. The characters in 2 SISTERS DETECTIVE AGENCY are so bizarre and larger than life that I almost felt like I was reading a Tim Dorsey or Elmore Leonard novel. With Rhonda’s smarts and Baby’s wisecracking personality, coupled with superior technical skills, it looks like they would be foolish not to combine their efforts in the family business. I can only hope that James Patterson and Candice Fox will have room on their busy calendars to keep these sisters alive for us.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on October 8, 2021

2 Sisters Detective Agency
by James Patterson and Candice Fox

  • Publication Date: October 5, 2021
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1538704587
  • ISBN-13: 9781538704585