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Pretty in Ink (Tattoo Shop Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – 2 Mar 2010

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Obsidian Mysteries (2 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451229622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451229625
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,431,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Brett Kavanaugh owns Las Vegas 2 Mar. 2010
By L. Gondelman - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brett Kavanuagh is known for her original art - tattoo art that is. As the owner of The Painted Lady tattoo shop in Las Vegas she doesn't do "flash" artwork as her counterpart Jeff Coleman does, she does custom work. So after she does the ink for a group of Drag Queens, she makes sure she's there for their opening night. What she doesn't expect is to get caught up in the middle of another murder investigation.

During the show, Britney Brassieres is taken down by what sounds like a gunshot, but what turns out to be the cork from a champagne bottle, shot right at her heart. She recovers from this incident, but not to long after ends up dead. Brett manages to catch not the culprits face, but the distinctive Queen of Hearts tattoo on the inside of their arm. She then sets out to track down who did the art, leading her right to the door of rival tattoo artist Jeff Coleman. But when she finds out that not one, but three people got the same tattoo one night, Brett isn't sure what to do next.

Everything seems to somehow be related to a pin found in Britney's make-up case (a pin that matches the tattoo of the mystery man). Not only is Brett now involved in this case, but it seems so is her trainee Charlotte. But to what degree? As a victim or a suspect? Things get really scary when another Queen is found dead (by Brett of course), from deadly ricin poison he was manufacturing in his apartment.

Just what are these murders about? Are they related to a sinister terrorist plot to take out Las Vegas or is it something smaller like a simple case of blackmail. Brett certainly has her hands full with this colorful cast of characters. What's the actor turned politician hiding? Is the hunky Dr Brett she meets in the ER after being exposed to the ricin somehow involved? How does her assistant Charlotte, accountant turned tattoo artist, fit into all of this? And is the sheriff on the case more interested in actually solving the case or just doing whatever he can to annoy Brett and her brother Tim(considering he's now engaged to Tim's former fiancee Shawna!)?

Once again Brett has the support of her loyal staff, including shop manager Bitsy and tattoo artist Joel to help her solve this intriguing who done it. One filled with just enough 'he's' and 'she's' to make it hard to keep all the hims and hers straight. While she does make a few slips up along the way, Brett is definitely getting the hang of this sleuthing thing ~ and is giving her detective brother a run for his money in the crime solving business. And just why is Jeff being so nice to Brett all of a sudden? Might there be something brewing here? One can only hope! It shouldn't be to hard for fans of Olson's Annie Seymour series to easily pick up the reference to that series.

Pretty in Ink is a quirky mystery with a fun, independent, determined leading lady and loyal supportive cast of characters, each so different, yet lovable in their own ways. A fast, easy, enjoyable read with an ending that will catch the reader completely by surprise. I look forward to seeing what Brett gets herself involved with in Driven To Ink, due out later this year.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Fluff Mystery 19 Jun. 2010
By Butterscotch - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this second installment of the Tattoo Shop mystery series we follow the main character, Brett Kavanaugh, as she chases down a mystery in Las Vegas. Brett is a woman with an edge - she owns a tattoo shop in the Venetian Casino and spends a lot of her time dating hot guys, giving tattoos, and chasing criminals. The first book introduced us to Brett, her employees and her friends - Bitsy, Ace, Joel, Jeff, and her brother (a cop who is also her roommate). The same characters are all back for this book and the author spends more time on the story/characters and less time 'setting the background scene' about Brett and her life. So, the good news is that this book can stand alone and you needn't read the first one first. The downside is that this book suffers from the same problem as the last one; the mystery involves way too many characters and it's hard for the reader to keep up and keep things clear. There is wordplay with a lot of the character names and, because this book involves drag queens, almost every character has two names. It gets really confusing and if the author could correct one thing for the future it would be to keep it simple - do we really need 10 so-so suspects when 3 or 4 really good ones will do? There was definite advancement of the friendship between Brett and her rival Jeff Coleman - who owns a competing tattoo shop - and their friendship was funny at times and gave the book a much lighter tone. The series is ok - it's fluff, and there are both better and worse series out there. Give it a chance if you haven't before, and if you read the first one and were on the fence about it.. well, you'll still be same after reading this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
non-stop action amateur sleuth 5 Mar. 2010
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brett Kavanaugh owns the Painted Lady tattoo parlor in the ritzy part of Las Vegas while giving her clients custom-made tattoos. Her whole body is filled with tattoos, a walking advertisement for her shop.

One night Brett is at the Chez Terso watching a transvestite on stage when a man pops a champing cork and hits the performer in the chest. Brett gets a look at the man who did it noticing a queen of hearts playing card etched onto his right forearm. Trevor McKay seems all right, but the next day he visits the Painted Lady appearing very ill. He dies at the hospital at the same time Brett's trainee Charlotte disappears. A waiter saw the man the person who hit Trevor with the cork; he describes him to Brett who makes a sketch. The man is Wesley Lambert, a transvestite who dropped out of sight over a year ago. Brett finds herself through a set of circumstances in a condo with the corpse of Wesley. She is decontaminated from ricin, which is all over the place. The tattoo artist believes there is a link between the two deaths and Charlotte as she hops from one hiding place to another to find Charlotte and the killer. She remains resolute in finding her friend, but ignorant that someone is watching her very closely.

Pretty in Ink is a non-stop action amateur sleuth mystery starring a brave strong heroine who thinks outside the crypt; something needed on this deadly case. The support cast adds humor and suspense (even off stage) to this well constructed complex whodunit. With a touch of romance to augment the deep look at another side of Vegas, fans will enjoy the second Tattoo Shop Mystery (see Missing In Ink).

Harriet Klausner
Pretty in Ink 21 Dec. 2012
By Aurian - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Where to start with this review? It was action filled from the first page till the last. Brett has been inking some drag star queens lately, for their new show, and now she and her colleagues are invited to opening night at Chez Tango, owned by MissTique. Brett is enjoying herself, which she had not expected, but those drag queens are very good at their job, and look fantastic.
But then some lunatic points a bottle of champagne at Britney Brassieres, who is singing on stage, and makes the cork slam straight into Britney's chest, knocking her over. The sound of the cork popping, and the sight of the singer falling over, makes people suspect the worst, and a stampede starts for the door. Which does ruin opening night. Brett never got a good look at the guy, as he sprayed her with the champagne as well, getting it into her eyes, but she did see the tattoo on his arm, a Queen of Hearts playing card. But well, this is Vegas.
When the cops and the paramedics come in, Britney aka Trevor McKay is taken to the hospital, as he has hit his head pretty hard on the stage. Charlotte, Brett's intern, is going with him to keep him company. To Brett's disappointment, it is not her brother Detective Tim Kavanaugh who heads the investigation, but some other cop who seems to really dislike her, and doesn't even give her his name.
The next morning that same cop arrives at their door (Tim and Brett are living together) and their clearly is some bad history between the two of them. Detective Frank DeBurra is dating Tim's old girlfriend, the one who left him when he did not propose to her when she expected it. And Frank clearly resents that. But DeBurra works not for LVPD, but for Metro Homeland Security, so there must be more to this case than meets the eye.

The next morning, Trevor is released from the hospital, but Charlotte is missing. And things get worse after that, fast. Trevor gets sick in The Painted Lady, and dies shortly after in the hospital. Charlotte is wanted by the police, for something that happened in a pawn shop, involving a tacky pin owned by Trevor. Charlotte and Ace are apparently dating, and Brett never noticed it, and Ace is protecting Charlotte. But Brett needs to get to the bottom of all this, as Frank DeBurra is harassing her.

I won't spoil everything that happens in the book, I never ever could have foreseen all those twists in the plot, and the strange happenings. And the strangest part is perhaps that Brett's main competitor, Jeff, is helping her out when he can. Does he have his eye on her?

I enjoyed this second book in the series a lot, it kept me on the edge of my seat, and really makes me want to visit Vegas once in my life. See a drag queen show in a club, gamble a bit, and tour all the major casino's.
I enjoyed catching up on Brett and all the other characters, and am looking forward to the next book. Karen E. Olson has written a fast paced cozy mystery, with unique characters and lots of action. There is of course also room for humor, and friendship. Romance, not so much, as Brett is not very lucky in that department. I keep being tempted to get a tattoo myself, but know I never will have enough courage for that.

8 stars

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

Full review on my blog, [...]
Tough and Fluff 16 Aug. 2010
By Cheryl A. Reynolds - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
#2 Tattoo Shop mystery, featuring Brett Kavanaugh, who owns the Painted Lady tattoo shop in Las Vegas. Brett is at a drag queen show, an invited guest because she did tattoos for several of the stars, when one of them is attacked deliberately during the show--a champagne cork popped directly at her. When Trevor (aka Britney Brassieres) later ends up dead, the apparent victim of poison, Brett gets involved in a bizarre case involving several other drag queens, her trainee employee Charlotte, and the police detective who is now dating her brother Tim's ex-fiancee. Oh, and there's a handsome emergency room doctor in the mix as well. Soon the FBI is involved, as the poison was nothing less than ricin, a seriously dangerous chemical often used in terrorist attacks. Somehow, Brett's employee Charlotte is mixed up in all of it, though she's not sure just how, and she begins to doubt how well she really knew the girl.

I actually liked this better than the first one. I feel like I'm getting to know Brett better, and while there is a little romance thrown in, it didn't feel like the focus of the book, and this was definitely better than your average cozy, although as usual with amateur sleuth mysteries, the main character ends up doing some pretty stupid stuff. The tattoo informaton is interesting too, of course.
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