Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez doesn’t think so. But the 34-year old ½ Latina, ½ WASP and 100% detective has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve. Set in the present, Murder is a Family Business is the first in a series of humorous mysteries revolving around Lee Alvarez, a combination of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Janet Evanovich’ Stephanie Plum, and rest of the Alvarez Family, detectives all. Seemingly light and frothy on the surface, the novel nevertheless explores familial love, the good, the bad and the annoying.
Completing the family is Lee’s Never-Had-A-Bad-Hair-Day aristocratic mother, Lila; computer genius brother, Richard; beloved uncle “Tio;” and her energetic orange and white cat, Tugger. When this group is not solving murders, they run Discretionary Inquiries, a successful Silicon Valley agency that normally deals with the theft of computer software. The love, humor and camaraderie shared within this family are what set this series apart from others.
This book was great, it captivated me and really had me wondering who the bad guy was. During this story we meet Lee, Richard (her brother), Lila (her mother) and Tio her uncle. While following her latest client she finds him dead, all signs point to something fishy being up. Lee feels compelled to figure out who shot him? This story takes you all over the place, dealing with immigration, affairs, and of course murder. I really enjoyed this story and the connection between Lee and her brother Richard. It was written very well which in my opinion puts Ms. Haven up there with Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich and many other detective novels. By the end of the book I felt really connected with these characters and wondering what Discretionary Inquiries is up to next? This book was sent to me via the publisher for a honest and fair review. I give it 5 stars for doing just that.