Narrator: Emily Ellet
Series: Friend for Hire Mystery #2
Published by Penguin Audio on July 5, 2022
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 8 hrs 23 mins
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Entrepreneur Emma Westlake has found that starting a business can be murder in this new Friend for Hire Mystery by USA Today bestselling author Laura Bradford.
Emma Westlake, proprietor of A Friend for Hire, finds a heart-wrenching email from a prospective client in her inbox. The email is from Kim Felder, a woman struggling with empty-nest syndrome and an out of left field divorce. Emma is determined to help get this woman in a better headspace. She suggests that Kim draft a bucket list of things she has always wanted to do in life but has not because of the time she has devoted to being the best mom and wife she could be.
Together, they fill that list (baking classes, traveling, dancing in the middle of the street for no reason) with Kim adding in some hilarious items about getting even with her ex. All laughter ends though, when Kim's ex winds up dead via one of the “funny” ideas Kim proposed. Now, Kim is the lone suspect in the murder with Emma the only person who can prove otherwise.
A Perilous Pal is the second in the Friend for Hire mystery series. Emma Westlake is the “friend for hire” and I think it’s definitely better to read the first one before starting this. It will give you a much better feel for Emma and the returning characters.
Emma barely has enough time to meet Kim Felder, her new client, when Kim gets arrested for her estranged husband’s murder. Kim didn’t see it coming when her husband left her for his secretary and she wrote in her journal her feelings about her husband’s betrayal. It was what she put in her journal, tons of ideas for how to kill Roger, that led to her arrest for Roger’s murder. Emma believes Kim is innocent, so she, Dottie, and Stephanie set out to prove it. Of course, Emma’s love interest, Deputy Jack Riordan, is not thrilled with her interference.
I’m not sure about Emma’s business plan. I love the friend for hire idea, but she seems to become actual friends with the people who pay her, so they pay her for some things and not others. I don’t know, it just seems like the line between client and friend is too blurry. On the other hand, that’s part of the charm of the series. Emma meets these colorful, quirky, lonely people and they become friends and she connects them with other people too.
The mystery was fine. The killer wasn’t a surprise, but there were a couple of twists getting there. It’s a typical cozy – in a good way. Small town, offbeat characters, an adorable golden retriever, cop love interest, and an ending that will leave you smiling.
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