My family were the Pinkertons—the detectives.”
I’ll admit it. When my friend told me that, I just kind of nodded. I’d never heard of “the Pinkertons.” It took about two minutes and the help of Google to get a feel for what it was all about—a super-cool detective agency that worked more as bodyguards for railroad payrolls and dealing with strikes than anything else!
But, a few years later when I began working on a mystery series, I had to learn about them—to discover what else they did. And the more I learned, the more fascinated I became.
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So when Celebrate Lit offered The Heart of an Agent (Book 2 of The Adirondack Pinkertons) for review, I jumped at the chance.
Was I sorry?
Nope. I had lots that I loved and a little I didn’t love so much about the book. Let’s start with…
What I loved about The Heart of an Agent
Look, the truth is that I often get excited about ideas and then discover they aren’t as wonderful as I hoped—and you know what? In a very small way, this book is no exception. But for the most part, I actually did love most of it.
Tracey Lyons created a rich, well-rounded cast of interesting and engaging characters. Honestly, the characterization was my favorite part of the book. Lyons made each character not only believable but also incredibly relatable and consistent. The turmoil Owen still feels over the loss of his wife combined with new feelings for Lily make for a realistic character who sticks with you even when you want to slap him for being a selfish brute.
Look, I can’t say this without making it sound like I dislike what the author did. And well, you’ll just have to trust me when I say it’s probably the most GENIUS thing I saw in the book. You see, there were times in this book that Owen made Lily feel like she’d blown it when actually, she hadn’t. I don’t know if it was deliberate or if the author really believed that she’d overstepped.
But with her past, Lily absolutely believes it. And it is so logical that she would believe it—with all she’s been through. It is.
The supporting characters were equally well-developed. I loved Mr. and Mrs. Cuddieback and their insightful wisdom. But… speaking of them… theirs and Lily’s last name… There are actually several last names in the book that I found crazy jarring. Every time I saw them I had to backtrack because my brain wanted to do something else.
So, if you want to know what I didn’t like about the characters? A few of the surnames—that’s it.
One beautiful thing about this book was how much the description worked to place you right in the setting. I didn’t know anything I didn’t need to know and knew everything I did. Sometimes authors bog down a story with so much setting it becomes a drag on the story, but Lyons avoided that pitfall beautifully.
The only descriptive objections I had were the random moments where she’d throw in an unnecessary adjective. If you tell me a flower is delicate, I’m all for it. If you tell me it’s “beautiful?” Yeah. What’s the point? There aren’t a whole lot of homely flowers.
Nit picky? Absolutely. But I’m just doing the full disclosure thing here.
So what was just “okay”?
The plot. I don’t know just what I expected, but whatever it was didn’t happen. This was a story about an ex Pinkerton who doesn’t want her past to come out and then just spills it because someone tells her to.
That’s it with the Pinkertons.
The rest of the plot is just your typical guy meets girl,they have a rocky start, things get great, there’s a glitch that might break them up, and back to all is happily in their ever after.
Honestly, if the characters weren’t so awesome, and the description hadn’t been so generally well done, this book would have been three stars. But they were. The characters are wonderful and multi-faceted people. The setting and description made those characters shine. It all took an “okay” book and made me like it.
I almost loved it.
If Amazon allowed half stars, this might be a four and a half star book just because of how I loved the characters.
And, Lyons made me interested in her books. I’ll be reading the first in the series. I suspect I know the whole story. It came out in the course of this book. So, maybe this proves how good a writer I think Tracey Lyons is. She made me want to know what happened in the first book of a series that, if I’m right, I can already guess.
I don’t get much reading time. But she made me want to do it anyway.
Recommended for lovers of historical romance or folks related to the Pinkertons. 😉
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