Review of ‘Not dead enough’ by J.M. Redmann
This is book ten (yes, 10) of the ‘Micky Knight’ private detective series. It’s remarkable how Ms. Redmann has written these books in the span of 30 years (the first one was published in 1990) and kept the stories flowing and the characters so realistic. Even though this is a standalone mystery, Micky’s personal issues are a relevant part of the book which is connected with the previous installments, so reading the whole series is highly recommendable. I know that committing to reading ten books might be too much but they are all so worth it. However, you can always start here and, if you like it, read the rest afterward.
Personally, I’ve started reading this series several years ago in their chronological order and I’m hooked up for good. To start with, the books are well-written page-turners. These are hard-boiled mysteries, not cozy ones in which the main character finds who did it from the comforts of her sofa. The stories seem real and they don’t sugarcoat any human tragedies. Additionally, the character development is superb, not only for the lead but also the supporting ones.
Micky is the epitome of the anti-heroine, a woman with serious flaws who had a hard childhood and who paid a high price for her life achievements as an adult. The great thing about this character is that she seems so realistic in her self-deprecation, her sarcasm, even her loneliness. It’s inevitable that your heart goes with her as life gives her yet another blow. I absolutely love this character with all her flaws and also her strengths.
The setting of this book as the rest of the series is in New Orleans, where the author lives. Her descriptions of the city are so realistic that you seem to be there, and that includes not only the landscape but also the soundscape and the weather. The constant presence of the heat and humidity is a metaphor for the suffocating environment in which some of the characters live. I like that the author doesn’t give us a view of the city taken from a tourist brochure but a place plagued with contradictions. New Orleans is the main pillar of these books, so much so, that if you’d change the setting of these novels, they would lose half of its appeal. I can’t wait to see where Ms. Redmann’s next book is taking Micky and her friends.
Overall, an excellent lesbian mystery book, part of a fantastic series. Hopefully, there are many more to come. 5 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.