Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio is the first book in the new “Mall Cop” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), August 2011

Mall cop E. J. Ferris is used to tougher beats than the Fernglen Galleria shopping mall. But when an injury sends her home from military service, she learns to Segway her way between vandals and shoplifters—with the occasional “special” being murder.

An average day at Fernglen Galleria can get weird pretty quickly—especially when someone decides to liberate the reptiles from the Herpetology Hut. But after a local developer is found dead in a boutique window, E.J. discovers that the most dangerous creature on the loose isn’t a reptile at all…it’s a cold-blooded killer.

When the arrogant homicide detective dismisses her as “only” a mall cop, E.J. sets out to solve the case. With her grandpa Atherton, a retired CIA operative, spying on customers, and a night guard named Weasel playing “I’ve got a secret,” E.J. has plenty of leads. But can she piece them together before she finds herself on the killer’s list?

On regular mall patrol, ex-military E.J. is alerted by screams to the sight of a dead body in a window display. When E.J. offers up her assistance, she is rudely ignored, so she makes it her mission to solve this case in spite of the opinion of the local detective. This was a good read that kept me on my toes. This steady-paced mystery filled with constant action quickly became a page-turner that kept me guessing and I was surprised when the killer’s identity was revealed. E.J. is a strong, determined and likable character and the antics of her adoring grandfather will have you laughing. This is a fun and entertaining read and I look forward to the second book in this delightful series. The introduction of E.J. and her cohorts are a welcome addition to the cozy mystery genre.

FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

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