Teetotaled (Discreet Retrieval Agency Mystery #2) by Maia Chance (Amazon link)
Description: In Maia Chance’s follow-up to her acclaimed Prohibition-era caper Come Hell or Highball, Lola Woodby is hired to find a diary, but soon the diary owner’s future mother-in-law is murdered.
After her philandering husband died and left her penniless in Prohibition-era New York, Lola Woodby escaped with her Swedish cook to the only place she could—her deceased husband’s secret love nest in the middle of Manhattan. Her only comforts were chocolate cake, dime store detective novels, and the occasional highball (okay, maybe not so occasional). But rent came due and Lola and Berta were forced to accept the first job that came their way, ultimately leading them to set up shop as a Discreet Retrieval Agency, operating out of Alfie’s cramped love nest.
Now they’re in danger of losing the business they’ve barely gotten off the ground—they haven’t had a job in months and money is running out. So when a society matron offers them a job, they take it—even if it means sneaking into a detox facility and consuming only water and health food until they can steal a diary from Grace Whiddle, a resident at the “health farm.” But barely a day in, Grace and her diary escape from the facility—and Grace’s future mother-in-law is found murdered on the premises. Lola and Berta are promptly fired. But before they can climb into Lola’s red and white Duesenberg Model A and whiz off the property, they find themselves with a new client and a new charge: to solve the murder of Grace’s future mother-in-law.
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: I really enjoyed the first book in this series and couldn't wait to find out what Lola and Berta (especially Berta) got up to next.
My Impression: This book was such a mad adventure that occasionally dipped into slapstick but was always an entertaining read. Lola hasn't come that far from where we left her last. She's still in her late husband's apartment (rented for his mistress), still with loyal and ever practical Berta, and the money from their last job is fast running out. So of course when the first job that comes in happens to be from a friend of Lola's mother (who is completely in the dark about the whole detective profession) Lola wants nothing more than to turn it down but Berta who wants to pay the rent won't hear of it.
Quickly a straightforward retrieval job lands them feet first in more trouble than they know what to do with as they come face to face with Lola's villainous ex-brother-in-law (who doesn't believe in butter), onto a hip slimming machine which sounds beyond awful, and face to face with a dead body. There is quite a lot of mayhem and mishaps and near misses as Lola stumbles through this case. Her clueless-ness would at times be annoying if it wasn't for the practical matter of fact Berta who manages to set her straight. I really enjoyed meeting all the characters and finding out what their secrets were as they ALL had secrets.
This was a super fun read with more than a few laugh out loud moments. The mystery isn't perfect as there are a few leaps in logic that have to be made to get all the way to the end but the story is so fast paced it didn't really matter. Grab yourself a cinnamon roll just like Berta would make and this book next time you're in the mood for a cozy. You won't regret it!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! This was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to seeing what Lola gets up to next.
Would I Recommend this Book?: If you like Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness series I think you'd enjoy this series. There's a very similar feel to both. If you haven't read either series but enjoy light cozies I highly recommend them both!