Review of ‘The bartender’s secret’ by Jody Valley
The best book of this lesbian mystery series so far. This is the third book in the Kera Van Brocklin mystery series. While I thought the series started a tad rough, I’m happy to say that every new book has been better than the last. There is noticeable positive growth in this series and I enjoyed this read.
While I didn’t notice the timeline for this book, the last took place in 2012 so I would assume this took place maybe 2013. The main character Kera is at home after serving in Iraq and is living with pretty severe PTSD. With all her training and skills Kera makes a great private investigator. When someone she cares about is in trouble, Kera and her girlfriend Mandy head to Alaska aboard a cruise ship. Can Kera figure out what is going on or could she become a target instead?
I was not crazy about the overly homophobic town Kera and crew lived in so I have to say the setting of Alaska and the cruise ship was really welcomed. Think about it, how great is a cruise ship for the setting of a mystery? It really worked here. The mystery was well done. I had some ideas and I sort of figured it out, but I was still off a little and I didn’t guess the why so I like that Valley kept me on my toes. This book was a big step-up from the others and I would have rated it even higher but I still had two issues that took down my rating a bit.
While I really enjoyed some of the excitement towards the end, the actual ending was just a tad too rushed. It needed maybe even just five more pages. It just needed a little more unwinding and explanation especially after what Kera did. I was left scratching my head a little. I think Valley did this to set up a fourth book but the rushed feeling was not needed.
The last issue was one character and her comments about bisexuality. Two characters are identical twins. One is a lesbian and the other newly came out as bisexual. The lesbian sister thinks the other is hiding behind being bisexual because she doesn’t want to admit to being a lesbian and only being attracted to women. This is a harmful bisexual stereotype and it bothers me and makes me dislike the character who thinks this way. I’m a lesbian, I’m not even bi but if this is starting to bother me, I would think it would or could be hurtful to someone who is bisexual. I hope Valley with stop having the character think this way and will just let the poor woman be bisexual.
I normally am very anal about reading books in order. In fact, I read this whole series just to review this one book. However, in this instance, I think I would actually suggest to people that you can start right with this book. While you might not know the background on some of the characters, I think for the most part you would be fine. This is the best book of the series and I think mystery fans would enjoy this. 3.75 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.