Saturday, October 8, 2016

Mystery Book Series Review: Jessica James Series by Kelly Oliver

Coyote by Kelly Oliver
Yes, I am a huge fan of mysteries and series are a favorite. When I was asked to review the Jessica James mystery series for my site Mystery Book World Live, I was sure it would be worth my time. I was proved right. Author Kelly Oliver sends us on the exploits of heroine Jessica James in this 3-part mystery series.

Fair warning here, the third in the series is not yet released.

 

Reviewing Wolf and Coyote by Kelly Oliver


Wolf by Kelly Oliver
The first novel in the series, Wolf, introduces us to Jessica James (yes, truly called Jesse at times), a Montana "cowgirl" who ends up working on her doctorate in Philosophy at prestigious Northwestern University in a Chicago suburb. It may be a far cry from her Montana small town roots, but that doesn't stop Jessica from stumbling on the murdered body of her doctorate advisor. You can read my full review of Wolf and see more for yourself.

The second in the series is Coyote. Author Oliver sends Jessica back to the mountains of Montana and builds an intriguing load of subplots when Jessica's beloved cousin is killed. Well, murdered is what Jessica believes. So off she goes into a world of Native American troubles, big oil fracking and corruption to solve the murder. You can read my review of Coyote, but I promise I never give spoilers.

As of this writing, I am awaiting the publisher giving me the release date of the third in the series. When I know that, I will update this review for you.

Masterful Characters in the Jessica James Mystery Book Series


Coyote by Kelly Oliver
Personally, I have no doubt that author Kelly Oliver is a masterful creator of interesting characters. She offers up characters that I want to follow. I want to see what happens to them next. And I'm rooting for them all along.

I wonder, though, is Oliver playing with us a bit in her choice of names? There is first off, Montana cowgirl Jessica James. Then we have the stunningly beautiful, but lethally dangerous with her black belt in Karate, Russian best friend of Jesse's named Lolita. Hmmm. Kelly Oliver is a talented writer and one that I wouldn't expect to accidentally name her characters so cliched. Me thinks she did this to make us think differently.

Anyway you want to think of her character names, she doesn't skimp on their personalities and dialogue.

To Sum Up the Review of the Jessica James Series


For mystery lovers, and especially those who enjoy reading about women sleuths, the Jessica James series by Kelly Oliver will be good reads. There is certainly plenty going on in both Wolf and Coyote. The publicity refers to "ripped from the headlines" plots and subplots. Certainly drugs, rape culture, corruption and more set the stage for these murder mysteries.

And there is a healthy dose of gritty realism in both novels.  I could have done without all of the realism without hurting the story. But overall, the mysteries are good.

That leaves me anxiously awaiting Novel 3 in the Jessica James mystery series. And hoping Kelly Oliver won't stop at just three.

If you like book reviews, we have plenty more at ReviewThisBookReviews.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

7 comments:

  1. I absolutely love it when a book series is recommended! I tend to read though books pretty quickly and then feel bereft that they have ended. When a character is well developed in a book, it almost feels like a good friend has moved away and there is no hope of further communication. Thus, I like a series that allows us to continue our "relationship" with the main characters. I look forward to reading your more in-depth reviews as well as the books themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I appreciate the heads up about the "gritty realism" in this series. I do love a good character, though, and Jessica James sounds like one I'd like to learn more about. Intriguing review, BuckHawk!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh this sounds like another book/series that must be added to my "to read" list! Thank you for sharing this with us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I seldom read fiction, but might have to add the Jessica James series to my list.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As you know, Susan, I love mysteries, so am delighted to have a new author and series to add to my reading list.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for warning me about the realism. I always like to know ahead of time. I like mysteries, but I like to stick mostly to the police dectective stories. I don't like to watch an amateur sleuth get into dangerous situations. A very helpful review.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for warning me about the realism. I always like to know ahead of time. I like mysteries, but I like to stick mostly to the police dectective stories. I don't like to watch an amateur sleuth get into dangerous situations. A very helpful review.

    ReplyDelete