that old flameThat Old Flame of Mine by J.J. Cook is the first book in the new “Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, April 2013

Set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, J. J. Cook’s thrilling new mystery series features Fire Chief Stella Griffin, who solves crime with the help of her predecessor, who just happens to be a ghost.


After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small town’s fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson and foul play.

As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely source—the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief. And if that isn’t enough to rattle her, attractive police officer John Trump seems to have taken an interest in her. But Stella’s got to stay focused if she hopes to smoke out a killer before her own life is extinguished.

This is a great start to what I hope is a long-running series featuring fearless and intrepid heroine, Stella Griffin. Someone doesn’t want Stella and her team to pursue their arson investigation and it will take Stella and an unlikely ally to smother a burning flame. The author did a great job in keeping the story lively in this page-turning whodunit that flowed easily from one chapter to the next leading us to a hot finale. I enjoyed watching Stella follow the little nuggets of clues while discovering a long lost secret. This is an enjoyable read with a terrific cast of characters led by Stella, set in the comfortable atmosphere of a small town setting. This is another winner from the J&J team and I look forward to more exciting adventures with Stella, her fire brigade volunteers and the people of Sweet Pepper, Tennessee.

FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book, in hopes I would review it.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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