I couldn't put this book down. The story was gripping and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. It's written with wit and style, as well as a cracking good plot and compelling characters.
The characters sound far-fetched as I write this review, but everything seemed to work in the book.
Mary Josephine Sheepshanks, known as Mojo, has a secret past. Mojo was abducted aged 5 by her babysitter, Lillian. This was to protect her after her parents were murdered. Along the way she gained two step sisters, Greer and Jolie, both of whom have interesting side stories.
Mojo lives above a biker bar, and has an off-on relationship with a cop called Tucker. More on than off, which was good as he is an interesting character.
The story starts with a visit from her dead ex-husband, Nick, as he has to make amends for his behaviour during their marriage and divorce before he can rest in the afterlife.
Add to the mix, Bert the owner of the biker bar, Mojo's half-brother who served time for the parents' murder and Mojo's uncle, the Senator, and his wife.
This book is fast paced with lots of action, twists and turns. I worked out the parents' fate slightly ahead of the revelation. I still don't know the motive, and I will re-read the book as I probably missed it in my excitement to get to the next page.
It appears that most of Mojo's services will be retained by the recently departed. Sounds weird, and I don't usually like paranormal ghost type books, but this is a whodunnit more than a ghost story so thankfully no spooky stuff or chain rattling.
I loved the Linda Lael Miller "Look" series, and I think this is the start of a series equally as good, if not better. I hope Tucker, Jolie, Greer and maybe even Joseph are part of the next book in this series. I'm hoping this is a series as LLM tends to pick a winning formula and stick to it to round it out.
I also like the McKettrick series, although they romance books, and a lighter read. I think readers of LLM romance novels would enjoy Deadly Gamble, even though it has a lot more meat on the bones than the romances. It isn't too gory or scary; just compelling reading with independent, strong female characters. If you have been disappointed with Janet Evanovich's work try Linda Lael Miller. I discovered her about a year ago and have been hooked ever since.
Worth the cover price without a doubt.
2008 - AN UPDATE TO MY REVIEW. I've just read the sequel to this book Deadly Deceptions and it is excellent. It looks as if this will be a series. Fantastic!!!
How odd! I thought as I read the first few pages... ghosts? But as the story unfolds the deeply troubled psychology of the heroine unfolds and the plot develops in a gripping way. Yes, it's a bit like Stephanie Plum but only a bit. An excellent read and I have equally high hopes for the follow on, cleverly flagged up on the last page! Nice marketing!
I have finished reading this book, I found it very entertaining with many characters interwoven in many plots, at the beginning I thought it was very slow as LLM was laying the foundation for the main character MOJO SHEEPSHANK, but when Berts dog got hurt in place of Mojo. I started to feel real concern for him. I am a great dog lover as I board dogs, when their owners go away for their vacations. I am just starting Deadly Deceptions the follow on to Deadly Gamble, But this seems to be about her phyic powers with dead people and not her detective tendentcies as in Deadly Gamble she was supposedly starting a detective agency with SuperCop/DEA agent on off boyfriend Tucker, Who can`t quite stay devorced from exwife Alison all for the Twins danny & daisy. Basic of story is after losing parents in shooting incident when she is 5 years old, she was abducted by her babysitter lillian, who cared for here like her mother, met and took in another young girl, married someone with a young daughter and all three girls became like sisters and they travelled until lillians husband died. Now they are all three sisters waiting for Lillian to recover in nursing home after she has suffered a heart attack/stroke and is in a coma.But Mojo cannot remember who really killed her parents her brother went to prison for it but it seems he wants to kill all that know anything about this killing. It turns out that Mojos parents were killed by her Brothers Wife who paid Mojos brother to take the blame, when he got out he blackmailed his aunt. But the reason aunt killed parents was because Her and her husband were drug trafficers and parents were all set to exposed them, but this could not happen as Mums brother is a senator running for governer now.