Linda Rodriguez delivers a lively look at a woman rebuilding her life in ‘Every Last Secret.'…Rodriguez's energetic storytelling and attention to character prove she is an author who should have a bright future. Skeet is in touch with her Cherokee heritage. Her determination to make a fresh start will resonate with anyone who has started a new job or moved to a new town.” Oline H. Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Rodriguez writes clearly and forcefully....Fans of tough female detectives like V.I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone will be pleased.” Publishers Weekly
“Skeet's debut introduces a strong, intelligent woman detective with both a knack for solving crimes and a difficult personal life. The next episode can't come too soon.” Kirkus Reviews
“With a strong heroine struggling to find balance in her work and personal life, this intriguing debut shows great promise....Good read-alikes might be Lori Armstrong and Sara Paretsky for formidable heroines with baggage.” Library Journal
“Every Last Secret would appear to follow any one of several tried and true conventionsa village mystery, a police procedural, a cozy replete with Skeet's knitting and pets, or an ethnic mystery playing off its determined heroine's half-Cherokee ancestrybut with solid writing and honest insights into human complexity, Rodriguez manages to employ all these familiar tropes with considerable élan.” Mystery Scene Magazine
“Fans of Nevada Barr and Sara Paretsky will relish Linda Rodriguez's stellar debut. Her sleuth, Skeet Bannion, is a keeper. Every Last Secret is a triple crown winner; superb writing, hell for leather plotting and terrific characters.” Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of One Was a Soldier
“There's a new cop in town and she has smarts, courage, and a good heart. Mystery readers will find a new favorite in Chief Skeet Bannion.” Nancy Pickard, author of The Scent of Rain and Lightning
“Every Last Secret offers that rare and startling thing in the universe of thrillers: a truly fresh voice. Rodriguez's tale spares nothing. Skeet is an all-too-human heroine, and we just want more, more, more.” Jacquelyn Mitchard, #1 national bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean and Second Nature: A Love Story
Seeking a more peaceful life, former Kansas City police officer Marquitta "Skeet" Bannion now heads a small college's police force in a nearby Missouri town. Things fire up pretty quickly when the college newspaper's student editor, Andrew, is murdered at his desk. Not well liked, the victim had a number of enemies on campus. Back in Kansas City, Skeet needs to attend to her ill dad, a cop with a drinking problem who retired under a cloud of suspicion. When Skeet figures out that Andrew was blackmailing several individuals (including high-ranking campus administrators and a professor whose research topic is child pornography), she knows that the murderer won't be satisfied until all the evidence is destroyed. Death and mayhem follow accordingly. VERDICT With a strong heroine struggling to find balance in her work and personal life, this intriguing debut shows great promise. The police procedural is decidedly not gentle, with child pornography as a theme and dead bodies aplenty. Good read-alikes might be Lori Armstrong and Sara Paretsky for formidable heroines with baggage. The book won Malice Domestic's Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition.
Leaving her stressful job as the highest-ranked woman with the Kansas City Police Department to take over a small-town campus police force poses more challenges than Marquitta "Skeet" Bannion had bargained for. After her father resigns from the Kansas City force in disgrace and she follows him out the door, Skeet thinks that her new job will help her leave all that stress as far behind as her ex-husband. But her life quickly gets tougher after university-newspaper editor Andrew McAfee is found in his office with his head smashed in. Although Andrew, who had been Skeet's neighbor, had a reputation as a troublemaker, his wife Tina Jamison, who'd been dumped by her professor spouse, and her son Brian are both devastated by the crime. It turns out that Andrew's curiosity went far beyond his job with the paper. As Skeet begins to dig into motives for murder, she finds that Brian had a thriving blackmail business whose victims included several colleagues at the university. The administration, more worried about its fundraising drive than Andrew's murder, is pressuring Skeet to cover up her discoveries. When Tina is killed, Skeet takes Brian into her home to protect him from someone who's desperate to cover up the crime. Help in tracking down clues comes from the Brewster police chief and Skeet's father, who gets badly beaten for his trouble. Despite the threat of losing her job, however, Skeet refuses to give up and puts her life in danger to track down a cold killer. Skeet's debut introduces a strong, intelligent woman detective with both a knack for solving crimes and a difficult personal life. The next episode can't come too soon.