Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review | "Innocent in Las Vegas" by A.R. Winters

Today's review is over another ebook that is available for free from Amazon. As with many free downloads, "Innocent in Las Vegas" is the first book in a series of chick-lit mysteries following an amateur P.I. Tiffany Black. Before I give away too many details of what I thought, here's the book's Goodreads description:

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Cupcake-loving croupier Tiffany Black is determined to leave her job at the casino for good. She's one small step away from acquiring her Private Investigator license, and has her eye on the prize.

Accepting her first real case - investigating the murder of casino-mogul Ethan Becker - should be exciting. Instead, things spiral out of control and Tiffany finds herself in over her head, as she confronts secretive suspects, corrupt casino henchmen and her mysterious, ex-Special Forces bodyguard.

Tiffany's poker-hustling Nanna and pushy parents want her to find a nice man and settle down, but Tiffany just wants to track down the real murderer before he finds her first...
  

My quick thoughts are: it was cute. I read the book in around a day and, while it's definitely not the next Sherlock Holmes or Poirot, and though I admit there are many better mysteries out there, this one is available for free. There were a lot of thing I think critical readers would pick up on, but I've read a few free mysteries from amazon by now and this one is probably my favorite. Now, keeping all that in mind, I have a rather lengthy list of notes, so I'll just get right into them.
Pretty quickly Tiffany says she wants a calm life, yet she wants to be a P.I. Now, I don't have much experience in that field, but something tells me "calm" isn't necessarily in the job description. Even if you aren't investigating murders, when you're snooping around, people might have a tendency to show their bad sides. The same goes for when she mentions that she doesn't want to risk her life, danger seems like it would be part of the job description. I also felt like some of the Private Investigator details weren't exactly accurate, or they at least seemed off. 
Tiffany herself was rather immature in her reasoning and acted very unprofessional (both in how she acted with others and with how she investigated on her own) despite the many times it was repeated that being professional was important to her. Which would be fine, I suppose, if she were supposed to be a 20 year old girl, but she isn't. Many times Tiffany would do things that served only to move along the story, but otherwise didn't make sense.
None of the characters seemed to use much common sense, coupled with the fact that there was some unrealistic dialogue and character traits that didn't coincide(for example Sophie claims she has nothing to do with the business she's connected to, yet she knows almost everything about it) it made it even more evident that all the characters had the same voice. We didn't get to know them individually much, either so any little nuances that made each person stand out were muddled and lost.
There were some technical things as well, I noticed some word and title redundance and definite word count cushioning. I also noted that the writing became less polished as the story moved along and the last half lacked a little in proof reading, which makes me think that the author was under some sort of time constraint and didn't manage the time she had well enough to really have the whole thing ready. 

So, in the end, there were a lot of things that, as a reviewer, I noticed could have been done better, but if you're just looking for a cute, quick read, then the fact that it's free definitely makes this a good option.

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