There’s not much left to say about Kristen Lepionka’s Roxane Weary series that I didn’t already say in my last two reviews. Lepionka is a talented writer who foregoes the frills of many a bestselling mystery book in favor of telling a good tale. In other words: there’s minimal fluff to pad the story. I appreciate that.
While I like these books a lot, what makes them difficult to recommend is the voice of the narrator. Roxane Weary is not inherently lovable. She’s a person my age: underemployed, underfunded, frustrated with life, living in a city that can’t stop the spread of gentrification, a city that provides every sensory joy on the cheap and every human need at great cost. She’s a disaffected millennial as I’m a disaffected millennial. I appreciate that. But in other reviews of these books, I’ve seen the protagonist chastised as “unlikeable” and shrewish. I don’t see that at all; I find that instead to be a generational criticism. But your mileage may vary.
While this one isn’t a significant step up from the others, what I liked about it is how Lepionka has steadily improved as a plotter. In each book, she takes on a little more. This one wobbled a little but she was able to smooth it out by the end. It shows that she’s growing and it makes me relieved to know this. Her intention seems to be getting one of these out a year (book four comes out in July) so to see her continue to evolve is encouraging.
I really love this series. If you’re my age, you might love it too.