Author: Joyce T. Strand
Series: Jillian Hillcrest Mysteries #1
Rating: 5 cups
Source: copy offered by the author
Blurb (from Amazon):
Murder intrudes on Jillian Hillcrest’s routine as head communications executive at a small Silicon Valley biotechnology company. She is eagerly staying “on message” to inform investors, the media, and the community about her company, Harmonia Therapeutics, and its latest drug candidate in Phase 2 clinical trials for the difficult-to-diagnose and treat autoimmune disease, lupus. When someone near to her is murdered, a determined San Francisco police inspector involves her in the investigation, convinced she is key to solving the crime. She co-operates fully only to find that solving a murder is more hazardous than writing press releases. On Message is the first of a series of Jillian Hillcrest mysteries.
A mystery after my own heart. There are so many things I loved about this book I seriously don't know where to start. First, I had no idea who the killer was. I was thinking of a different person so I was so happy and pleasantly surprised that I was wrong. Second of all, I liked that there was always a phrase or a small scene or a detail that changed my opinion of certain characters. Then there's the fact that I couldn't figure out the motive for the murders. For me, that was one of the things that kept me reading the book. I really wanted to know why.
Jillian is a wonderful character. She's smart, strong willed, funny, stubborn, friendly. Also (and this is one thing that made me love her more) she's a coffee addict. She's also still friends with her ex husband and I liked that. That might be a strange friendship, but I'm fond of those. And the romance addict in me hopes that maybe they'll get back together and stay that way :P
I loved the pacing. The book didn't stall when it didn't need to and it didn't rush when it wasn't necessary. Another thing I loved were the smaller chapters with POVs from other characters. I loved that. Besides having the previous chapter end with a cliffhanger, you would also get a view inside some other character's head and that made the entire book feel multidimensional. Sort of like one of those "meanwhile" moments in movies. I loved that.
Oh, I also loved Cynthia Anderson, Jillian's neighbor. Reminded me of one of my older neighbors back home and how much I loved her. I do believe everyone needs a neighbor like Mrs. Anderson.
I don't know if it's good or bad (if you ask me, it's a very good thing), but I can't think of a single thing I didn't like or that I wished was different. I think it's one of those mystery books that any mystery fan should read, so it's definitely on my Recommended list. I also can't wait for the next installment, Open Meetings, sometimes this year I think.
Do read this wonderful book, you won't be disappointed!