Narrator: Madeline Mrozek
Series: Malibu Mystery #2
Published by the authors on February 23, 2016
Length: 5 hrs 15 mins
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Maloney Investigation's newest private detective, Sofia Salgado, is back on the case that turns into her mother's worst nightmare when she ends up undercover in one of Malibu's many rehab clinics.
If she doesn't solve the mystery in time, she and all the bad girls she meets inside, including rock star Brandi Basher and reality TV train wreck Monaco Jane, might just end up going to the big rehab center in the sky.
“B” Is for Bad Girls is #2 in the series, but can definitely be read as a stand-alone. It’s short, funny and has a good mystery. Sofia is a great lead character. She’s new to the detective business, although she played one on tv— literally, she quit acting to become a detective. The paparazzi is still happy to get pictures of her in awkward situations though, like peeing in public or coming out of a rehab facility for example. Part of what makes it fun is that her semi-celebrity status in Malibu lets us meet other celebrities, like the bad girls at the rehab center where she is undercover. Well, not really undercover, since she’s still being herself, just pretending to be a drug addict, which she is not. It’s neat to have the entertainment industry in the background of the series.
Sofia is a riot she has a great sense of humor about herself and about life. Her friends and family are caring, but all a little over the top. Her mom tends to attempt interventions and wants Sofia to get together with her (gay) neighbor. Her niece and nephew are dangerous, period — keep them away from tools and don’t look at them funny, but they’re cute, I just wouldn’t want to watch them for a weekend. the guys at the detective agency are competent and good at what they do. While there’s a lot of teasing, they have Sofia’s back and do appreciate her unique skill set. And you have to meet the seagull. Oh, and the puppy.
I really enjoy light mysteries that can truly make me laugh and this one of the few series I’ve run across lately that fits the bill. The mystery itself is actually pretty good, too. I did guess who dunnit, but the clues were worked into the story well. Sofia did do the standard female detective thing of putting herself into a dangerous position with no way of contacting anyone, but of course it worked out. It wrapped up a bit quickly, a few questions were left unanswered, but they solved the mystery they were hired to solve.
Mrozek does an excellent job as the narrator. She’s perfect for Sofia, but handles all the other characters well. Even though some of the people and situations are outrageous, she keeps it all under control, lets it be believable. I’m looking forward to listening to more of Sofia’s adventures in detecting.