Publication Date: June 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 320pp
(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Karen E. Olson on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter
Previous Books in the Series: The Missing Ink, Pretty in Ink, Driven to Ink
Dee Carmichael, lead singer of the hot pop sensation, The Flamingos, has been one of Brett's most dedicated customers - or was. Allergic to red dye, Dee has been discovered dead in her hotel room with a pink flamingo tattoo and surrounded by ink pots and needles - and a tall redhead was seen leaving the crime scene.
Now Brett has been branded as the prime suspect. This can't be good for business. . . .
Meanwhile, a blog has been showcasing Dee's deadly tattoo. Things get worse when pictures of Brett start appearing on the blog. Turns out someone isn't merely following her, but impersonating her all over town.
Brett must act fast to find out who's out to get her before the killer puts the dye in dying once again. . . .
Karen E. Olson's Tattoo Shop Mystery series wraps up with the last book in the series, Ink Flamingos. Fans of the series will love the latest adventure with Brett and the gang from The Painted Lady tattoo parlor in Vegas. Olson has created a series that is very edgy and current and readers will love her complex characters and carefully constructed plots. Ink Flamingos is a fast paced, dramatic mystery that will have readers biting their nails and staying up all night wondering whodunit?
Brett Kavanaugh is the owner of a high end tattoo shop called The Painted Lady. Brett is well known on the Vegas strip for her intricate tattoo's and sassy spirit. When Dee Carmichael the lead singer for the pop sensation, The Flamingos is found dead in her hotel room surrounded by ink pots and sporting a pink flamingo tattoo, it's up to Brett to find the killer. Dee was one of Brett's most high profile customers and a woman with red hair was seen leaving the scene of the crime, which means Brett is the prime suspect, especially since she was aware that Dee was allergic to red tattoo ink. When a blog shows up online that posts pictures of the deadly tattoo along with someone impersonating Brett and made to look like a killer, she knows she has to move fast to save her reputation and prove she didn't want Dee to dye.
Karen E. Olson has created a cozy mystery series that is very cutting edge. Tattoo's are very popular right now and that makes this series extremely current and well thought out. One of my favorite parts of the cozy sub-genre is the way that writers are able to take interesting professions and use them to accent their stories. In this case, the idea of the protagonist being a very sexy, intriguing tattoo artist really works. Olson's descriptions of tattoo's and ink and how tattoo's are done is very interesting and it's easy to see that she's done a lot of research on the topic. The scenes and the setting come across as believable and credible. I think readers really appreciate it when a writer gives a lot of attention to the smallest of details and that's what sets Olson's writing apart from the crowd.
Protagonist Brett Kavanaugh is such a great character. She is spunky and edgy and everything you would expect from a tattoo artist. It's easy for the reader to believe that she could become involved in a murder. People from all walks of like get tattoo's from stars to mothers but you also see a lot of people who are on the fringes of society as well. Those who are closer to the wilder side of life and I think that's what makes Brett so realistic. She just seems able to walk that thin line between good and bad. But her most prevalent characteristic is her caring heart. She may appear to have a tough exterior but she cares so much about people that, that's what usually gets her involved in case after case. Olson does a fantastic job of bringing Brett to life along with the other characters she has created for this series.
Ink Flamingos is the last book in this series and I'm sad to see it go. It has been one of my favorites. Olson's writing style appeals to me. She's straight forward and to the point. Her mysteries move quickly and they really keep the reader guessing. In this one she takes on identity theft in a very real way. Not only is someone stalking Brett and taking pictures of her to use to make her look like a killer, but they are also impersonating her around town. She's a suspect in the murder and is also having to defend the reputation of her shop and her colleagues as well. Olson does a remarkable job of keeping readers on their toes with this one. I thought I had it figured out, but she pulled a fast one on me in the end, which I love. It's a very gripping book that pull the reader into the more colorful side of Vegas and it's inhabitants. I loved the authors descriptions of the city and the people who populate it. I have never been to Vegas but this series makes me want to go, just to see if it's like Olson makes us believe it is.
Ink Flamingos is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Karen E. Olson was a reporter and editor at newspapers throughout Connecticut for twenty years. She lives in a suburb of New Haven with her husband and daughter.
The publisher has been good enough to offer one copy of Ink Flamingos to one lucky winner her at Debbie's Book Bag.
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