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Lethal Beauty: A Mia Quinn Mystery


Lethal Beauty: A Mia Quinn Mystery

Seattle prosecutor and single mom Mia Quinn is back in LETHAL BEAUTY, the latest in Lis Wiehl and April Henry’s mystery series.

Mia is still reeling over her husband’s death a year ago. When Scott died, he left her with a mound of debt and shocking revelations about who he really was. Now Mia is trying to muddle through the emotional fallout, while juggling a heavy workload and being both mother and father to her two children. This is a task that is more than Mia bargained for, but what choice does she have?

Young Chinese prostitute Dandan Yee’s body has washed up on shore. Ten days later, Mia is in the middle of jury selection to prosecute the man who admittedly killed her. The man was Dandan’s last client in the “massage parlor” where she worked. He claims self-defense, which Mia and homicide detective Charlie Carlson believe is ridiculous, seeing how the defendant is a large man and Dandan barely a hundred pounds. The trial begins, along with a few details about the events surrounding Dandan’s death.

"Mothers (single and married) will relate to the challenges Mia faces as a mom, and legal thriller fans will enjoy this series and likely find it difficult to wait for the next installment."

Mia thinks she has a solid case, so she can’t believe the trial ends in a hung jury, due to one juror’s refusal to convict. She thinks it’s a no-brainer to re-file, but District Attorney Frank D’Amato doesn’t share her opinion. He gives her a small window of time to come up with new evidence to warrant re-trying the case. Frustrated and more than a little suspicious of Frank’s motives, Mia sets out in search of more evidence. She teams up with Charlie to find the truth and is immersed in the dangerous world of organized crime.

Meanwhile, at home, Mia is thrown a couple of personal curveballs when she discovers her son has been taking steroids, and her father is dating a much younger woman. Needless to say, Mia has more on her plate than she sometimes feels she can handle. But she is determined to do whatever it takes to strike a healthy balance between her career and family. In the thrilling final pages, career and family collide when her son becomes directly involved in the outcome of the case.

As far as legal thrillers go, authors Lis Wiehl and April Henry are at the top of their game. LETHAL BEAUTY is an exciting page-turner, with a solid plot and strong characters. The theme of human trafficking is timely and powerful, displaying the authors’ knowledge, experience and/or research abilities. Wiehl and Henry have crafted a wonderful combination of crime solving, courtroom drama and character development --- all necessary ingredients in a successful suspense novel. The romance factor is threaded throughout as well between Mia and two potential suitors. Though they couldn’t be more opposite in looks and character, detective Charlie Carlson and university professor Eli Hall are each worth rooting for. Mia is attracted to Charlie and Eli for different reasons, and the chemistry with each is undeniable. However, for the moment, Mia still insists on suppressing any emerging feelings, despite the fact that both men are definitely interested in her.

While the book can stand alone, it’s probably best to go back and read A MATTER OF TRUST and A DEADLY BUSINESS first in order to get the complete story. Mothers (single and married) will relate to the challenges Mia faces as a mom, and legal thriller fans will enjoy this series and likely find it difficult to wait for the next installment.

Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on May 25, 2015

Lethal Beauty: A Mia Quinn Mystery
by Lis Wiehl with April Henry