Series: Allie Lindell #1
Published by The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House on August 15, 2013
Genres: Adult, LGBT, Mystery
When dead prostitutes begin to appear along the rural roads of Ohio, Allie Lindell cannot stay away despite the odds—the odds being her badge-toting sister; her partner, who only wants Allie to stay home and out of harm’s way; and two little girls in full potty-training and tantrum-throwing modes. But when an old friend from The Columbus Dispatch calls with an intriguing job opportunity, Allie can’t turn her away, Allie breaks all kinds of promises to track the killer, heat up a cold case, and discover what happened to a fallen police officer. As she navigates the backstreets of Columbus, following pimps, prostitutes, sullen teenagers, and seedy gamblers, the only thing more complicated is remembering all her aliases.
Enlisting the help of her neighbor, and with the annoying voice of Snow White drumming through her head, Allie and her newfound sidekick will have you falling in love with this wonderful cast of modern heroines with day-to-day problems. Gay, straight, sleek and sexy, or rumpled and ragged—no matter how much they bicker, they’re a mighty force when they all come together. Heigh Ho!
Roadkill is the first in a series in which a former journalist and at-home mom discovers she has a knack for investigating murders. While she longs for the crazy deadlines and adult conversations, she also wants to stay home and care for her babies.
With Disney tunes, tantrums, and potty-training woes on her mind, Allie Lindell must learn to juggle the highs and lows of her family and a career she never knew she always wanted. This is the funny, sometimes aggravating, ultimately heartwarming story of a woman trying to give everything to her kids, keep the love of her partner, and not lose herself in the process.
Today I am the stop on the blog tour for ROADKILL by Alexandra Allred. The tour is hosted by the publisher, The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House, and you can see the rest of the stops here. Read on for my review and a giveaway.
“I never set out to become an obituary writer. Who does that? (p. 1)”
Allie Lindell never set out to do a lot of things. She didn’t plan on writing obituaries, but because there were no job ads for traipsing around New Guinea, she got good with obits, and even became emotionally invested in them. Never a romantic, she fell in love almost at first sight. And though she loved working at The Columbus Dispatch, she quit to become a stay at home mother.
But taking care of two babies all day — five hundred screenings of Snow White included — isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Allie needs adult conversation, an escape, something beyond staying at home all day and losing part of herself. Yes, Allie loves her daughters, and her wife, but she needs something more.
ROADKILL is a story with a lot packed into it. There’s a couple of mysteries, including a serial killer who refrigerates bodies before dumping them, and a murdered cop who was once accused of molesting his niece. Allie gets tangled up in the investigations because she freelances for her old paper on the side, as part of her quest to not lose herself. But investigating the cases is about more than just that — because of her experience as an obituary writer, Allie wonders about the dead. Why they ended up as victims. What happened in their life.
There’s a theme in the book that I like, stemming from the title, ROADKILL. Allie muses that the unfortunate dead like the serial killer’s prostitutes are only important when they die, and even then, they’re only mentioned because they were murdered by someone making the news.
Aside from all that, there’s more to the book. Allie struggles to find the right balance between investigating and her personal life. She’s in the midst of some big problems with her wife, Rae Ann. They’re the sort of problems every couple goes through — drifting apart after having children, having trouble communicating, etc. I liked that the author didn’t make a big deal out of them being a same-sex couple. They’re a couple, period, same as any husband and wife, or husband and husband.
The author created some truly memorable characters. One of my favorites was Kipper, the canine partner of Allie’s sister, Michelle. I always have a soft spot for well-done animal characters. It was great to see Kipper as a big softie when playing with Allie’s daughters, and then a vicious attack dog when on the job. Allie herself was another favorite, and I think a lot of readers will identify with her struggle in juggling a partner, children, and home life without losing part of herself. Lastly, Jenny was a sweetheart. Allie and Rae Ann’s neighbor, she was always willing to watch the girls when Allie needed to run some “errands.” AKA investigate. I liked Jenny because she was a good example of someone sort of isolated — she has MS, and her family would rather coddle her than allow her to live her life.
I did have some difficulty believing that, when investigating, Allie was able to get so many people to spill their guts to her. She also knowingly put herself in danger — because she didn’t think — which is always a peeve of mine.
Overall, I enjoyed ROADKILL and I am very curious as to what the author has in mind for Allie, Rae Ann, and the rest of the bunch. Because I know Allie is not going to keep the bargain she made with her sister, to keep from “investigating” for a month!
*giveaway is tour-wide
About the author:
Alexandra Allred is a former national athlete and adventure writer turned humorist and fictional writer. She’s often been called the next Erma Bombeck with a grudge. Her annual Christmas letters, which have frequently made the news, could make the Grinch weep with joy.
Allred is an avid runner (though not a very good one), frequently testifies in Washington D.C. on environmental issues, is an advocate for Clean Air, and loathes people who illegally park in handicap places.