by Arlana Crane
An updated take on the traditional PI story, set on the Canadian West Coast.
Karl Larsson is an out of work roughneck, home from the oil fields of Alberta and back on the west coast for the first time in years. His wife has left him and his future looks bleak. Becoming a detective is the last thing on his mind, but when Karl learns that he has inherited his estranged grandfather’s agency he decides to take a chance.
He doesn’t expect much action in a city as small as Victoria, BC, but Karl soon finds that Victoria is only the base of operations. His grandfather’s business took him across the length and breadth of Vancouver Island, and the Island is a world unto itself, with a culture all its own.
When a reporter from a national news agency asks him to investigate a drug running operation on the Island, Karl is drawn into a dangerous game. Finding the truth sounds simple in theory, but as Karl delves deeper he begins to realize that more than his life may be at stake.
Newly divorced and with no real prospects, Karl Larsson doesn’t have much going for him. That is until he finds himself the new owner of his estranged father’s detective agency. He’s got no history in the field and he’s not really sure that it’s something that he’s interested in doing, but something about the place draws Karl in. Later joined by his nineteen year old cousin, Kelsey, Karl is soon deep into a case, enlisted by a reporter to investigate drug smuggling on Vancouver Island.
I really enjoyed this book and can tell that a lot of passion has gone into writing it. It’s engaging and gripping with a few twists to keep you guessing too. The story was realistic and something I could see happening in real life. I really appreciated that the level of detail was accessible to me as there’s nothing worse than a detective novel that goes completely over your head!
Karl is a well rounded, likeable character and I also really liked Kelsey, a feisty woman with a strong head on her shoulders. I look forward to seeing what the pair of them do next!
Overall rating: “Mordecai’s Ashes” is a really entertaining murder mystery featuring Karl Larsson, the new owner of an established detective agency. The story was well written and kept me engaged throughout. A really good 4 stars from me!
The author, Arlana Crane, kindly gifted me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.