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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Missing Ink: A Tattoo Shop Mystery by Karen E. Olson

The Missing Ink: A Tattoo Shop Mystery by Karen E. Olson is the one book I managed to read during the Read-A-Thon. Clocking in at 320 pages, I was pretty proud of accomplishing that. (Plus another hundred or so of Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs.) I don't read a lot of mysteries, but this one makes me want to read more. I'll definitely be picking up the followup in the series-Pretty In Ink.

So what's it about? Brett Kavanaugh owns a tattoo shop on the Vegas Strip called The Painted Lady. A few days after being contacted by a client to do a devotional tattoo, the client disappears and Brett and her shop are the last people to have seen her. It seems as though Brett may have been involved in her disappearance, so she decides the only way to clear her name is to investigate the crime herself.

What did I think about it? This one was a lot of fun to read. I love seeing the little bits of the tattoo shop and am always a fan of strong, sassy heroines. Brett is a lot of fun and the secondary characters will well done, with the exception of the shop manager (Bitsy) who I just didn't like. I don't read a lot of mysteries so my brain isn't really used to figuring out who-dun-it and I was happy just to read along and let the story unfold instead of trying to guess. It seems like perhaps the final explanation was a bit sketchy, but I still enjoyed it. It was great choice for the Read-a-Thon.

Have you read any Karen E. Olson? Are mysteries a normal part of your reading diet? How do you feel about mysteries starring NON-detectives like tattoo shop or candy shop owners? Do you prefer a more serious mystery? ( I admit that I find it hard to believe that places like a tattoo shop can run into enough mysteries to create a series. I'll still read them, but I prefer mysteries with logical protagonists. )

You can find the author online at and her blog at First Offenders with several other authors.


  1. I love smart, sassy heroines too! I do enjoy what I call light mysteries where there's an everyday person acting as a detective. Glad you liked this one.

  2. Ohh, a mystery with a tattoo theme. Definitely going on the list.

    I like amateur sleuths better than real detectives, although sometimes you do feel them stretching for reasons as to why the main character is involved in the investigation.

    Jennifer @ Reading with Tequila

  3. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the book, and the second, Pretty in Ink, will be out March 2, not in April as it says at the back of The Missing Ink.

    I'm working on the third tattoo shop mystery, Driven to Ink, and your question is a very valid one...can this be sustained? So far, I'm finding that yes, I've got enough for the four books that for certain will make up the series. Tattoo themes in all of them. Since I don't know if there will be a fifth, I'm just not going to worry about that now :)

    And as far as amateur sleuths, I actually prefer reading about police or private eyes or reporters (my other series has a reporter character) or lawyers...people who do have a real reason to solve crimes. As a writer, it's a real challenge to make sure the amateur sleuth isn't too stupid to live! I hope I've been successful with that...

  4. I don't usually read many cozies, but this one looked good so I picked it up. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!


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