By Annette Sandoval

Thomas & Mercer, July 17, 2012 ($14.95)

ISBN-13: 978-1612183619

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

What's a girl to do when she gets a promotion at work for a creepy new boss, her sometimes boyfriend is found murdered and stuffed inside his refrigerator, as is another friend, and she has a not-so-great alibi? That's Tomi's predicament. She's sure she didn't do it but can she figure out who did and prove it before she becomes a victim herself?

While this sounds like a pretty basic mystery or thriller plot, SPITFIRE rises above the usual crime story. SPITFIRE is more character driven than mystery or crime driven. That's not to say it's lacking in crime or mystery just that the reader will be charmed by Tomi's character and want to tag along for the ride, as they say, to see what happens to Tomi, how and why.

Remember those women's lit (or chic-lit, if you prefer) books you would read and then rush back to the bookstore to buy extra copies and hand them out to your girlfriends? SPITFIRE is that kind of book. Readers will enjoy it so much, they'll be telling their friends about it or buying copies for their friends.

I'm sorry to say, my "to read pile" had toppled over from sheer volume and the ensuing jumbled mess made me overlook this book in what should have been the "quick, fun, summer reads" portion of the toppled pile. No problem, this is still a quick, fun read...it's just a pre-holiday read now.

I like authors who have a sense of humor and can convey in through their characters. I know, nothing is really funny about murder but humor can be found almost everywhere, depending on one's sense of humor. It's not an easy task to write humor but I do enjoy an author who knows how to write good humor. Ms. Sandoval is also quite capable in writing a decent mystery with well developed characters. I got such a kick out of Tomi that I wish I knew her. Or someone very much like her.

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