CBR12 Bingo: Fresh Start
Moving Violation is the first book in the Chloe Boston Cozy Mysteries series. Chloe is a 20-something meter maid working for the Hope Falls Police Department. She wants to be a regular officer, preferably a detective, but at 5 feet tall and 98 lbs, she was unable to pass the physical exam. Her father, who was police chief at the time, allowed her to join the Traffic and Parking division anyway.
Chloe is disrespected by some of the other officers (possibly all men) because she is a woman, the former chief’s daughter, and not part of the law enforcement division of the police department. When her partner meter maid Jeffrey goes missing and Chloe thinks it’s related to a recent murder, she decides to investigate on her own. She does this partly because no one else is putting in much effort to look for Jeffrey, but she also hopes to garner some respect by solving the case.
It’s a fairly short book, under 200 pages, and a quick, easy read, which is good because otherwise I’m not sure I would have stuck with it. As it was, about 20 pages in I nearly gave up because it wasn’t really engaging me and I wasn’t sure I liked Chloe – and the book is told from her 1st person POV. But it got better, at least enough for me to continue. But not enough to for me to want to read the 2nd book, even though the 2nd book is even shorter and is also free. I’m admittedly a little curious about how the next books will play out, but not enough to bother.
I rooted for Chloe but just never felt all that invested. There was also a big turn-off for me, which is that I’m not sure how Chloe views the LGBTQ+ community. At one point she assumes that Jeffrey didn’t sleep with a man because he had been married and had children and it would be too late in his life for him to “switch teams” (p. 60). That part is just ignorance, which I can handle, but I’m not okay with her being judgmental: Later Chloe thinks, “Surely Jeffrey’s recent lapses in judgment didn’t including [sic] sleeping with the same sex” (p. 121). Regardless of whether that’s the author’s viewpoint or just Chloe’s, it left a sour taste in my mouth. On an unrelated note, it also bothered me that there were a couple of questions the book raised but didn’t answer. They were minor, but I would have liked it if they’d been addressed, and they’re not the kind of loose ends that are likely to be answered in any subsequent novels.