Title: Relatively Risky: The Big Uneasy Book 1
Author: Pauline Baird Jones
Narrator: Becky Boyd
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Crime solving is a family affair—and a Family affair—in the Big Uneasy.
Nell Whitby is starting over in New Orleans, getting a publisher for her children’s book, sketching tourists in the French Quarter, and leaving the tragic death of her parents behind. When a handsome detective asks her for a date, her fresh start seems perfect…until a dangerous family secret bubbles up from the past and puts her life in jeopardy.
The oldest of thirteen children, detective Alex Baker has two goals in life: solve murders and avoid anyone under the age of ten. That is, until the day the quirky children's book author foils a carjacking, becomes a target for the mob, and makes his libido sit up and reconsider the whole no-kids thing. If he doesn’t protect her, she’ll be the next body to turn up in his homicide investigation.
As bullets start to fly, Nell can’t resist her sexy bodyguard or ignore her past, and Alex must protect the irresistible kid-magnet who has them both in the crosshairs.
Dive into the first installment in a series reviewers are "grinning and loving."
In the quiet semi-dark, with morning just starting to lighten the horizon, he’d turned onto the narrow street where home, breakfast and bed waited. As usual, cars haphazardly crowded both sides of the street, fitting in where they could and where they shouldn’t. Parking in New Orleans required patience, ingenuity and a huge pile of luck. Sometimes he’d be driving along, spot a great parking place, and feel this overwhelming urge to grab it because it was there. Alex had known he was running out of patience, was probably out of luck. This time of the morning no one was likely to clear as space just because he needed it. They were all sleeping something off in their beds. He should have taken the front fence down a long time ago so he could park on the lawn, but Zach insisted a white picket fence was a chick magnet. A guy really didn’t want his dad saying chick magnet, let alone having one in the yard.
He’d passed his house, wondering if he was going to be doomed to drive around until one of the college students across the street had to go to class, but as he passed a cross street, he’d spotted half a space just around the corner. It was by a hydrant, but the parking Nazis weren’t out this early, and he could get his dad to move his truck later. He pulled in, got most of his truck off the street, if he didn’t mind blocking the sidewalk. He didn’t. The dividing line between street and sidewalk was more imagined than real anyway. He’d shut off the engine and thrust open the door, anxious to get unconscious as soon as possible. Should have known better. Should have kept an eye on his surroundings. Which was why the stinking little piece of crap got the drop on him, down shifting his night from bad to worse.
“Get out real slow with your hands where I can see ‘em, mother—” The pressure of the gun against his neck eased some, as if the perp couldn’t point and talk at the same time.
Alex rolled his eyes at the spate of unoriginal swearing. The education system was so screwed up, it was depressing. Kids couldn’t even swear good and had nothing better to do than try to jack a detective who’d spent the night knee deep in bodies.
“Keep your cool,” Alex said, more for himself than the kid, as his temper tried to slip tired’s leash. Making sure both hands were visible, he slid out and turned around. The kid was as small as he sounded and looked like he was on the downside of a high. Probably looking to trade Alex’s wheels for a trip back up. Man, the guys’d really roast him if he got jacked by a kid too young to shave.
“Shut up and give me your wallet and keys!” The kid practically foamed at the mouth as another round of filth poured out.
At his age, Alex hadn’t known half that many cuss words. And when he got caught saying the ones he knew, his head had been down in the sink eating soap. If he shoved a bar down the kid’s throat? Probably be called police brutality and get him a sit down with IAD.
“Life’s not fair,” his dad would say about now. “But it’s always interesting, bubba.”
And about to get more so, Alex realized. The swearing, while tiresome, had drowned out the unlikely figure on a bicycle bearing down on them both. She was hunched over the handles, an intent scowl on a face that was ordinary, but not in a bad way. Her feet pumped hard on the pedals, as she steered around the numerous potholes and bumps that pockmarked the street. Her eyes were narrow slits and her hair stuck out around her head like a ragged, brown halo.
Alex sure hoped she didn’t plan to ram the little crap while he had a gun pointed at him—oh yeah, she meant to. As if the kid sensed her incoming, he started to turn.
“Here, catch.” Alex tossed his keys high in the air. No surprise the kid followed the shiny object. Or that he stepped back to catch them. The front wheel of the bike caught the kid in the butt and sent him running forward, right into Alex’s waiting fist. He crumpled into an untidy heap, though a final hand twitch fired the gun. Alex’s driver’s side window exploded into flying shards of glass.
And took his insurance rates with it.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Universal Link: books2read.com/RelativelyRisky
Audiobooks link: https://paulinebjones.com/books/audiobooks/
What makes your featured book a must-read?
I grew up in Wyoming, which is the polar opposite of New Orleans in every way possible. Moving there was both enchanting and kind of insane, but always interesting, no, make that fascinating.
The music, the food, the ambiance stirred my creative juices in a way no other place we’d lived had or could. I learned to hug strangers, embrace being called “baby,” and to “second line” for a funeral parade.
You did not see that in Wyoming!
But I had to move away from New Orleans to finally write this book.
I wrote it because New Orleans got in my blood.
I wrote it to go back and rediscover what I loved about New Orleans.
I wrote it to share that experience with readers packaged in a story.
I’m really glad I finally wrote it, because now anyone can take an armchair journey to the New Orleans I experienced for 18 years. Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)
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USA Today Bestselling author Pauline Baird Jones never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance. She also loves chocolate, bacon, flamingoes, and mid-century modern anything.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Pauline-Baird-Jones/e/B000APFS0M/