Sweetbreath | Anniversary Killer
Allie Lindell 1 & 2
December 17, 2013 | August 14, 2014
The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing
When the president of Sweets Sullivan is found dead, everyone is all too ready to believe it was a suicide. Everyone but Allie Lindell. A former obituary writer for The Columbus Dispatch with a mind for murder, not even diaper duty and naptime can keep her away. Sweetbreath is the second mystery of the Allie Lindell series— a story of family secrets, murder, crooked insurance schemes, drugs, chocolate cravings and chocolate-chocolate chip cookies that are to die for. Who can resist? Certainly not Allie, her neighbor, her dad, or her old friend from the newspaper.
As Allie gets closer to the truth, she begins to contemplate the notion that she can have it all. But at what price? Her relationship with her life partner begins to unravel, and she is forced to make a choice. Restless with her job as an at-home mom, Allie misses the crazy deadlines, office banter, even rush hour traffic. With the lure of chocolate, it’s just too much and Allie makes the biggest move of her adult life.
She investigates the possible murder and quickly learns there is a not-so-sweet side of the business world. As her own family begs her to back away, Allie finds she can’t. She’s her own worst enemy but with the best intentions. Nothing in life is ever easy as Allie learns it’s not just candy to die for—it just might be worth killing over. Following the scent of a murderer and chocolate, Allie is soon in over her head. This time, her sweet tooth just might get her killed and her hero is the most unlikely of the bunch.
Allie is back! When a kidnapping, house fire, and murder occur around the corner from Allie Lindell's house, it's too much for her to resist. Despite promises to stay away from murder and mayhem, a missing Irish setter named Chester puts Allie on the hunt. Almost a year to the day, Mickey Callahan's business partner was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the head and nothing but questions surrounding his murder. Now, Mickey Callahan is convinced that the same people are out to get him. After a sloppy kidnapping attempt, no one takes him seriously until the body count begins to add up. The Allie Lindell saga returns with the third book in the series and more drama than ever as Allie continues the struggle to hold on to herself without giving up on her partner and love, maintain a relationship with her police officer sister and best friend, and keep up with her caper-loving neighbor who insists on going along on every stakeout.
Alexandra Allred is one of my all time favorite indie authors. There's no question that I will read whatever fiction novel she puts out. She writes about women for women, they're strong yet vulnerable, they're smart, funny, independent, normal but extraordinary in their own way. I love the sense of empowerment I get after reading her books, her heroines aren't out of the ordinary, they go through the usual grind and it's the way they handle their shiznit that gets me invested.
Her Allie Lindell series is quintessential Allred. You have a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers who's bored out of her mind and has a penchant for solving crimes and is a great amateur private investigator. While Allie goes around town solving local crimes, she's juggling her home life, keeping her kids entertained while working out her rocky relationship with her partner, Rae Ann. There's a lot of layers in the books and though I enjoy the mystery solving aspect, it's Allie's personal life that's got me glued to the pages.
The mystery on both SWEETBREATH and ANNIVERSARY KILLER aren't all that complicated. The perpetrators hide in plain sight and it's how Allie solved said mysteries that entertained me. She's great at improvising, coming up with different identities, and pulling random stories out of her butt that has me laughing and shaking my head in awe and worry. Allie's no pro, she just has an eye for detail and her intuition is sharp which makes her a natural investigator. I love that she's not an expert and the errors she made and how she gets away with them is the source of much comedic relief!
But as I've mentioned it's Allie's personal life that's got me entangled. I feel her struggles all to well, that desire for balance and fulfillment on all fronts and the frustration of not getting the support from your partner is difficult to handle. The fights Allie and Rae Ann kept on having was hard to read but at the same time I love reading marriage/relationships in crisis because we all know things in HEA-land aren't happy all the time. The soul of the story lie in the bumps, humps, potholes and how the couple navigate through their issues. It's the normalcy of Allie and Rae Ann's struggles and situation that made it so real and relatable for me and truly got me invested.
There are a lot of great themes in all three books ranging from family, friendships, relationships, parenthood, and work-life balance among other things and I love all of it! Allie Lindell, Roadkill, SWEETBREATH and ANNIVERSARY KILLER, as well as Allred's other works, are like rich ponds of stories, it might look modest but the undercurrent pulls a hard tug and the feels run deep. Allred has a talent of turning ordinary into extraordinary and I suggest you take a dip at least once.
Alexandra Allred is a former national and professional athlete turned adventure writer turned humorist and novelist. She’s often been called the next Erma Bombeck with a grudge. Her annual Christmas letters, which have frequently made the news, could make the Grinch weep with joy. For a taste of holiday glee, see http://www.allredgreetings.blogspot.com
Allred is a writer of fiction and nonfiction alike, but is most proud of the Allie Lindell series. Several close friends from her sports background and personal life have been the source of inspiration for the books. And just like Allie Lindell, Allred grew up with a father who taught her the love of reading a good obituary column.
Allred writes for Waxahachie Daily Light newspaper, continues to testify in Washington D.C. on behalf of children with asthma and our need for clean air, and she’s never too far from her gym in Midlothian, Texas. You can always drop her a note at www.alexandratheauthor.com.
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