Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Skin Deep; Sung J Woo

Title: Skin Deep
Series: Siobhan O'Brien #1
Author: Sung J. Woo
Genre: Mystery
Publication Date: July 21st, 2020
Publisher: Agora Books

Korean-American adoptee Siobhan O'Brien has spent much of her life explaining her name and her family to strangers, but a more pressing problem is whether to carry on the PI agency that her dead boss unexpectedly left to her. Easing into middle age, Siobhan would generally rather have a glazed donut than a romance, but when an old friend asks Siobhan to find her daughter who has disappeared from her dorm, the rookie private detective's search begins at Llewellyn College.

A women's institution of higher learning in upstate New York, Llewellyn, for the first time in its two-hundred-year history, has opened its doors to male students. Fringe group The Womyn of Llewellyn are furious, but their ex-fashion-model president declares they have little choice due to financial shortfalls. But if that's true, where did she get the money to build a brand new science center, and why is it under 24/7 surveillance by the town cops?

As Siobhan delves deeper into the search for her friend's daughter, she encounters politely dangerous men in white turtlenecks, vegan cooking that might kill her, possibly deadly yoga poses, and a woman named Cleopatra who's got more issues than National Geographic. This first in a new series introduces an endearing P.I. heroine in the tradition of classic female detectives like Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone and Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski readers won't be able to put down.

*A Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for a honest and unbiased review*


Hello Fellow Readers,

There's just something about Siobhan, yes she has a very Irish name, yes she is a Korean-American adoptee and yes she's a 40 year old PI, but its more than that. I was not sure what to think going into this book, but I feel in love with Siobhan. Her inner ability to read a situation and act accordingly astounded me. It's hard to find a mystery heroine who actually acts logical in situations, plus her snarky humor, honestly was refreshing. The book is pretty humorous despite the very serious mystery that unfolds throughout the book, its pretty much why I read the book in one sitting.

The mystery itself was a little hard to grasp, what started out as a straight-forward missing persons case evolved into this huge scandal that was a little hard to keep up with. There were also a lot of characters to keep track of, some of which I barely remembered their names, I don't know how Siobhan kept up. There was also a lot of things to keep track of in terms of events and exposition, some of which I felt was unnecessary, all of which happened in what seemed like a couple of days. Another thing that was interesting was the fact that you pretty much know the who of the mystery but needed to know the how or why to have it finally settled.

I did enjoy the little snippets of romance that seemed to blossom in the book, while not needed it was a little refresher from the main plot in the book and I can't wait to see where it goes. The mystery didn't seemed to be as wrapped up as I would have liked, and I wanted to see more payback to the "bad guys" but I did like the way it ended setting up another case for Siobhan which made me think about where the series would go, which is a great thing. I can't wait for the next book so I can continue Siobhan's journey.

Overall, a pretty good mystery with a great character.


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