No Gun Intended by Zoe Burke is the second book in the “Annabelle Starkey” mystery series. Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press, January 2016

No Gun IntendedFresh from her introduction to the dangerous world of criminals and cons in Jump the Gun, smart, sexy, and movie-crazy Annabelle Starkey flies to Portland, Oregon, to visit to her newly relocated parents. They, like Annabelle, are rebooting their lives―though the directions their new starts will take are not yet clear. Annabelle is now part of a fledgling detective agency headquartered in New York, home turf to her boyfriend, Mickey, just retired from the NYPD.

Safely arrived at her parents’ home, Annabelle is ready to relax when she discovers her backpack has been switched for one holding a gun―a gun linked to a murder. Has she been set up? Or is she simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? The Portland PD isn’t sure. Then a frantic young woman appears and claims the gun is hers. And, worryingly, could the man who sat next to Annabelle on the plane be stalking her?

Alarmed―and absent a gun of her own―Annabelle is armed only with wits, wisecracks, and her ability to run. Mickey and streetwise backup Luis rapidly arrive, adding boots on the ground and their seasoned crime-busting skills, but it is Annabelle who pieces together a case traversing Portland’s patchwork of communities, proving to herself, her partners, and parents that, as investigator, she’s got the right stuff.

I love this book. It has humor. It has slapstick. It’s downright entertaining and I like how the author use scenes from movies to reflect the action being played on the pages in this fast-paced tome. The author did a great job in setting up this mystery with characters running in and out and not knowing who was or was not the villain. The sneaky plot twists that were thrown into the mix increased my enjoyment of this story, especially when all the pieces came together like one big giant puzzle was complete. Annabelle is one gutsy heroine and I liked how she handled herself when faced with dangerous situations. The secondary characters are lovable, especially her fun-loving parents who are a hoot. This was a fun read and I hope there are more exciting adventures with Annabelle, Mickey and her parents in this amusingly engaging series. This cozy with an edge pushes the boundaries of a traditional cozy because it contains some language that may be a bit colorful.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an E-ARC of this book from Poisoned Pen Press via NetGalley.

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