Nicoli “Nikki” Hunter is a private investigator in Redwood City, California. She has an office near the marina, where she lives on her boat. Business is good; she does bar and restaurant surveys for her clients. One night, she and her best friend, Elizabeth Gaultier, are having dinner together when she gets a phone call from Kate Howard. Her daughter Laura was murdered, and she wants Nikki to investigate.
Thrilled to be given her first homicide case, Nikki jumps in with both feet and begins to look into Laura’s life. What she finds is the opposite of the person her mother described. Laura was a risk taker: racing around in her car at dangerous speeds, skydiving, getting arrested, and working at a strip club. Definitely not the sweet girl her mother raised.
The further she looks, the more questions are raised. Nikki discovers that Laura’s parents lied to her regarding details about her life, including a half-brother who has a very expensive drug habit. Is it a coincidence that he will now inherit a few millions from his deceased half-sister? Nikki goes out on a date with a potential suspect, who is quite handsome and enjoyed taking risks like Laura. Did he kill Laura after she broke things off?
Just when Nikki thinks she’s not getting anywhere, she and Elizabeth are almost mugged by a man outside of the Fanny Pack, the strip club where Laura used to work. With help from Detective Bill Anderson, the police officer who is investigating the case, she learns that someone has hired another P.I. to follow her. Twenty-four hours after she confronts the P.I., he ends up dead.
Other people Nikki has talked to turn up dead. Does this mean that Nikki is getting close to discovering the truth? Just when she thinks she has it all figured out, an unexpected twist puts Nikki’s life in danger. She might end up on a slab at the coroner’s office if she’s not careful.
I actually started this series with book four, but I immediately went and bought the other books. They are fantastic! Attention grabbing, spine chilling, with plenty of sit on the edge of your seat suspense, along with a few laughs. The characters are well-defined, and they change as the series grows. You all have heard me heap praise on this series for the last couple of weeks, so I would only be repeating myself if I continued. This is a series that is worth checking out. I promise that you will not be disappointed!
In case you missed it, here is the interview I did with Ms. Skopin.
Amazon: Murder on the Menu
Award winning author, Nancy Skopin, is a native of California who currently lives on the Oregon coast with her husband, Max Ferry, and their dog, Turq. An avid student of human nature, Nancy is happiest spending her days imagining the best, and the worst, that we are capable of, and translating those ideas into her Nikki Hunter mystery novels.
As does her central character, Nikki, Nancy lived aboard a yacht in the San
Francisco Bay Area for thirteen years, though she has recently settled on solid ground.
While researching her quirky serial killer mystery series she worked for two years with a private investigator, learning the intricacies of the business and, specifically, the art of bar and restaurant “mystery shopping.”