Publication Date: September 1, 2015
In e-Murderer: A Jenna Scali Mystery by Joan C. Curtis, Jenna Scali receives an e-mail revealing the death of a young girl and providing details only the killer would know. Later that day, a dead girl is found near Jenna’s home. As Jenna receives further e-mails and turns them over to the police, her need to know who is committing the heinous crimes, grows. Is Jenna herself in danger? She must help the police to get to the bottom of the crime before she’s the next victim.
The author, Joan Curtis, gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my review.
Joan C. Curtis’s first book The Clock Strikes Midnight was a classic work of southern fiction about a family coming to terms with its past. E-Murderer: A Jenna Scali Mystery is an equally impressive work but one of a classic thriller theme. A woman must find a killer before he is tired of toying with her and completes the job he’s set out to do.
Anyone coming after Jenna will not have an easy time; she is a force. She’s flip and sarcastic in a way that speaks of realism. When Jenna gets her teeth into the mystery, she is a woman on a mission hurdling toward an uncertain result that could lead her into peril without the Penelope Pitstop qualities that so many female leads in danger suffer. Told from Jenna’s point of view, when she first sees the e-mail detailing the death of a girl, she understandably thinks it’s a joke — until the details seem just a little too real and a young girl is found whose death was just a little too similar. Jenna is not a superwoman. She learns what the risks are as she progresses, but readers know they likely would not have made a difference to her. Readers know that Jenna will work out the killer or die trying. E-Murderer: A Jenna Scali Mystery delivers a thriller cloaked in the attitude of a character that will never stop trying.
Curtis has a talent for writing drama and tension. Her well-connected plot lines in e-Murderer: A Jenna Scali Mystery leave readers with a tale that frames the expert skill of the author to its advantage. There are no straight lines in Curtis’s story-telling repertoire so that the unexpected twists catch readers by surprise while making sense to the advancement of the storyline. Curtis’s editing talent is seamless, and readers will find it easy to devour e-Murderer: A Jenna Scali Mystery in a single sitting.
Where Curtis goes a bit off of the rails is with Jenna’s ever-present friends and her sometimes, incongruous reactions to situations in her private life. I would have liked to have seen some of them more fleshed out. As this is Jenna’s story, and she’s telling it, we get a lot of Jenna which comes off as a bit self-absorbed but for goodness sake, there’s a killer on the loose! We all react differently to things, and there are a few additional moments that take nothing from the story but give it a moment’s pause. Jenna is thrown into a tailspin by everyone, and although she is aware that her boyfriend cheated, has a contradictory reaction to all of her underwear being stolen. Both are violations and certainly, the reaction to the break-in is bravado as Curtis gives us a fairly frightened, confused and yet strong character.
If you’re looking for a solid mystery read that is interesting and fast moving, e-Murderer: A Jenna Scali Mystery may just be your perfect read.
Check out my review of the contemporary novel The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis.
Read an excerpt and buy e-Murderer: A Jenna Scali Mystery by Joan C. Curtis on