I feel like I’m getting repetitive here, because this BotW is another Fahrenheit Press pick. Seriously, my Fahrenheit subscription has been one of my best book-based purchases this year. It was a total bargain (and I got in early so it really was a bargain!) and I’ve discovered older series I was too young for (or not in the right crowd for) first time around and new authors doing interesting things and who I’m hoping I can say that I was there at the beginning for.
And Sparkle Shot falls in the latter camp. It’s Lina Chern’s first book and it’s short but it packs a lot in. The subtitle is “A wannabe cowboy, a handsome cop and the search for a perfect breakfast cocktail” but that doesn’t really do it justice. It is a perfect fit for the Fahrenheit family – Mara fits in somewhere between Sam Jones from Black Rubber Dress and Eva Destruction from Barista’s Guide to Espionage, in that she’s sassy, smart and runs with an interesting crowd which sees her getting tangled up with things she’d rather not be. In this case, her roommate, a stripper who dances under the name of Karma misses a breakfast date with her and then phones in a panic – she’s witnessed a murder and needs Mara to help stop her being the next victim.
Sparkle Shot races along at 100 miles an hour, with boys with guns, girls with guns, wannabe mafia dons, cops and peril. It’s probably technically novella length at 95 pages, but doesn’t suffer from any of my common complaints about novellas. There’s not a hint of underdeveloped story or things feeling too rushed. There’s plenty of plot, there’s backstory, character development and proper tension and proper danger – not just the sort of thing that is a misunderstanding or could be fixed with a simple conversation. It does feel like it could stand a sequel or two – hopefully longer than this because it was over too fast – but even if it’s not more from Mara and her friends, I’m still looking forward to seeing what Lina Chern writes next.
You can buy Sparkle Shot on Kindle or in paperback from Amazon, or you could treat yourself to some Bad Santa Bucks from Fahrenheit themselves and buy a few of their books – the discount gets bigger the more bucks you buy – and given that I’ve already mentioned two Fahrenheit books that have been BotWs and I’ve also recommended Death of a Nobody and Murder Quadrille (this is why I think I’m getting repetitive with my love of Fahrenheit, but honestly, so many good books) that’s five there – even if you only buy the first Sam Jones book and not the series… And if you’re still not sure, both Sparkle Shot and Barista’s Guide to Espionage would be good books to read if you’ve read Stephanie Plum or any of the other Janet Evanovich thriller series and are looking for where to go next. And on that encouragement to buy books I’ll go away before I buy more myself.