I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!
I’m using this book as my “Shelfie” – so here’s the picture of the ebook in my Kindle account. (Not nearly as exciting as a physical copy…)
For anyone who has read any of my reviews, it’s probably apparent that I love mystery novels. However, I haven’t read many where the main character is a young black woman who is determined to solve a mystery. Generally, in fact, it’s white women. Middle to upper middle class white women. Which is a pattern I was aware of, but one that I didn’t expect to change much given the current publishing market. It seems like everyone is a Gillian Flynn or a Ruth Ware or a Paula Hawkins.
Enter Rachel Howzell Hall and her amazing heroine, Mickie. Mickie (or Michaela) is a digital archivist who works for a company called “Memory Bank” which creates digital scrapbooks of items, memories, places, etc. for people. It’s a small box that projects holographic images and tells stories related to each artifact. Mickie is hired to work for a woman who owns a second-hand shop called “Beautiful Things.” However, the day after Mickie meets Nadia, she is found dead with a bag over her head tied with a bungee cord.
Just like that, Mickie finds herself in the middle of a mystery trying to discover who killed Nadia while also trying to complete the memory bank that Nadia already paid for in full. Suspects include Nadia’s son, Dexter; her adopted daughter, Riley; and the realty mogul attempting to “revive” (aka gentrify) the strip mall, Peter Weller. With the help of the local diner owner, Anna, and the local locksmith, Mr. Kim, Mickie tries to find the truth. All while dealing with a stalker who leaves notes, follows her home, and breaks into her house. (Mickie’s home life is complex…)
I love that Mickie is a young, fun, intelligent woman who dates and spends time with her friends and is (mostly) single. I’ve gotten so used to married women (or married-ish women) who are trying to demystify their own relationship or the relationships of those around them. And she’s a black woman, which is central to who she is and who her family is, which adds a whole new dimension to the story. I want to hear much more from both Rachel Howzell Hall and Mickie.