Maisie McGrane is a traffic enforcement officer aka meter maid. It’s a bad enough job on its own, but considering three of her family members are cops and three are defense attorneys, well, she’s at the bottom of the employment totem pole.
Her personal life is much better–at least in the boyfriend department. She’s got a smoking hot boyfriend whose job is, well, better not ask about that in too many details. Her dad tried to break them up, so things are a little strained there. Her brothers are overbearing, pushy, and protective, too, just like most brothers.
When Maisie finds a dead body on the car she’s driving (her boyfriend’s), it’s a sign of very bad things to come. Maisie ends up with teenagers egging her ticket-mobile, a killer out to get her to spite her boyfriend and a benefactor she’d rather not know—a Serbian mobster nicknamed The Butcher. She’s also recruited to work undercover—as a meter maid? Seriously? Yep. The irony of it all. It seems there’s a group of car thieves working in the area. They tow a car and either strip it, chop it or ship it to foreign countries for a lot of cash. Maisie’s job as meter maid is the perfect cover for spotting tow trucks in the act.
Poor Maisie, her boyfriend said he’d never date a cop. A meter maid is okay, just not a full-fledged cop. Now she is one. Her brothers and Dad are hovering, mother being helpful, and Maisie’s keeping secrets from all of them—including the Serbian.
It’s hard to tell much more of the story without giving away important, telling clues. Suffice it to say, this is a quirky mystery, full of suspense, fast action, tricky situations, and lots of humor. It’s a fast read, not only because the story is so good, but because readers will be chomping at the bit to find out how it ends, all the while, wanting the story to last.
This is the second in the Maisie McGrane Mystery series with Time’s Up being the debut. Find them both. Read fast. Hope Mack writes faster than you read.
Maisie absolutely hates being a meter maid. Absolutely! She could have been part of Mayor’s elite team but she turned it down. He’s crooked and cruel and an asshole in general. She’d do meter reading rather than work for him. Her dad has blocked her from police work by making her psych test teacher mark her not suited to the job. Life is not as happy as she would like it, but she does have Hank.
This author has a lot of similarities to Janet Evanovich. She makes her female character strong on the outside with some weak points inside and throws her in situations no one would like to be in. It’s a good thing Maisie can think on her feet and lies so well. Of course, with a house mix of brothers and a dad who are cops and the rest of the family are lawyers, it shouldn’t be so surprising.
When Maisie gets a chance to go undercover, she’s excited! Here’s the opportunity to excel at something her father can’t stop. It’s also easy to keep it a secret because she’s still working as a meter maid during the day. Her only concern was that Hank said he wouldn’t sleep with a cop and she’s not sure how long she can hide it from him.
Only Maisie could be the target of a hitman and get saved by gangster. The Serbian man is involved in a lot of schemes but he likes her spirit. When she has to spy on him, she hates it. She likes him a lot. He’s gay, so it’s no threat to her relationship with Hank. Then a photographer puts their picture on Facebook and her brothers see it and forward it to Hank.
There’s a lot going on that Maisie doesn’t understand. A lot of Hank’s life is a secret. It’s a good thing he’s working on saving her, because she needs it.
This author writes well and keeps your interest all the way through the story. Her characters are unforgettable. There’s another book in this series coming out in 2016 and I’ll be watching for it. Maisie’s life is getting more and more interesting and I want to see what’s going to happen next.
This is not my usual genre, and yet I found myself truly drawn into the plot, Maisie’s struggles and wonder, “Who dunnit?” To get me to not just read but thoroughly enjoy a story outside of my normal literary haunts requires great skill, and Janey Mack has it.
Strong believable characters are penned with a deft touch the kinds of characters who leap of the page. Maisie is at times smart, hardheaded, kind, stubborn, foolish, and hungry to seize her place in the world. Embroiled in family dynamics and situations, which, especially if you are a younger sibling, you will recognize and empathize with. While this maybe a story about a woman who starts off with one of the worst days of her life, the are plenty of absurd, laugh out loud moments.
In the end it was a book I enjoyed and I look forward to the next in the series when it arrives.
By RJ Beam
The premises is a bit more complex this time. If you did not read the first book don’t worry this one is written as a stand-alone story. I would still suggest you pick it up the first book just because it was a fun read. Otherwise here is some backstory, Maisie McGrane is from a family filled with cops and lawyers. She tried to become an officer, but her dad (a high-ranking Chicago police officer) convinced police academy staff to wash her out. She then settled for second best and become a parking enforcement officer.
When this book picks up she is one of the top performing meter maids in the city. At the end of shift one day, she finds a man on the hood of her car. Well actually it is her boyfriend’s car, but she took it to work that day. The man is dead and was left there was a warning to the boyfriend, who happens to be a mercenary. Later Maisie is attacked but luckily saved by an underworld kingpin.
This criminal takes a liking to Maisie and asks her to work for him. I don’t want to spoil anything but her job is to act as his girlfriend, hiding the fact he is gay from other criminals and mobsters. At the same time, she is approached by the special undercover unit of the Chicago police to work for them to build a case aginst the criminal.
These books are written in the first person. Maisie offers up thoughts and sarcastic remarks as comments to what is happing to her. Often times her inner dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny. She will be thinking one thing to herself then say something the opposite to the people she is with. Something we all do.
Maisie is truly in over her head in this one. Which makes part of the story perversely entertaining. Not everything goes her way. It seems all too often in many stories the hero can do no wrong. This is one hero that gets a few things wrong. Still she is a fighter and works hard fix her mistakes, which sometimes just digs her in a deeper hole. Even so if Maisie McGrane was real she is the kind of officer I would love having working on my shift with my crew.
Choked Up comes out on December 29th. Order it now and makes sure it is one of the first things you read in 2016.