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<Sassy by Gloria Mallette is a mystery-thriller with some romance thrown in. The main character is a successful author and she's about to have a new man in her life. He though brings danger.
At a book signing for her latest romance, Butterfly, Sassy is surprised to see a well dressed man in line with a stack of her novels. He claims to be a fan of her writing and that's how their friendship starts and later blossoms into something more. Meanwhile, the police are investigating a brutal murder and the evidence is pointing towards Sassy's new beau, Norris Yoshito.
Fictional authors pulled into dangerous and thrilling situations are nothing new. The literary world are full of authors forced to solve mysteries or suddenly in danger from something right out their imaginations. Sassy fits right in with them. She's intelligent, sharp witted and capable of taking care of herself. Although she does encounter danger she's never a "damsel in distress."
Meanwhile Norris has an interesting back story as a the child of a Japanese woman and a black U.S. service man. The cultural conflicts he grew up with in Japan and now faces back in the United States make him an interesting and well rounded character.
The mystery itself has enough tricks in the form of red herrings and other forms of misdirection to hint at possible, albeit clichéd endings to provide a satisfying solution.
Near the end of the novel the editing falls apart a little. There were a couple obvious and strange grammatical errors that should have been caught. These yanked me out of the story just as things were wrapping up. That being said, I will read another Gloria Mallette novel if I come across it.