Review of ‘Bury Me When I’m Dead’ by Cheryl A. Head
This is my first book by this author and it is the beginning of the ‘Charlie Mack Motown Mystery’ series. I’m a big fan of lesbian mystery book series, no matter if there are always new couples introduced in each book, or if they are always the same leads. I love to get to know the characters more deeply with each new installment.
Charlene “Charlie” Mack is the head of a Private Investigation firm in Detroit, together with Don and Gil, two other PI’s, and Judy who runs their office. There is a lot going on in Charlie’s life as she’s recently divorced, and her mother is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. And then there is Mandy, the cop she’s dating. Charlie is afraid of her feelings, she isn’t sure she wants a deeper relationship that shortly after her divorce. When an old friend hires them to find a missing woman, they have no idea in what kind of wasp’s nest they’re poking into.
The author created a complex exciting plot, not only there are secrets to be uncovered, but the whole case resembles mafia-type crime and deadly danger lurks. Soon it’s pretty clear who the backers and henchmen are, but the why and how takes time to be unveiled.
I liked the dynamics and the diversity of the team, Charlie is a black woman, Gil is of Mexican origin and Don is white. It felt like the readers were sitting with the team trying to solve the riddles. The pace and flow were good. I did need some time to get into the story, to get to know the characters but as the story progressed, I felt more empathy with the team.
For me, the most emotionally moving part is the side story of Charlie and her mother Ernestine. She was an independent and strong woman, a teacher, who is slowly falling apart with Alzheimer’s, which is hard for any daughter to witness. It was heartwarming to feel the love Charlie has for her mother.
As this is a lesbian mystery book series, the romance takes a backseat but I hope we will see more of Charlie and Mandy in the next installments as I’m a sucker for romance in almost every book, no matter what genre. We’ve only got a glimpse into their developing relationship and Mandy seems an intriguing woman.
I think the first part of a series is probably the most difficult one to write because the whole foundation has to be laid on which the other parts can be built. I’m looking forward to reading the next one. My rating 3.75 stars