2 Sisters Detective Agency by James Patterson and Candice Fox is the sixth collaboration between the prolific US author and Aussie crime fiction writer Fox. I very much enjoyed their Harriet Blue detective series as well as The Inn, which I’d hoped may become part of a series as I liked some of the characters it introduced.
I always wonder how they manage the paired writing (though a friend and I are attempting to also do just that) but most of the books reflect both styles… Patterson’s short sharp chapters that keep you turning the pages, and Fox’s eccentric characters and smart blunt prose.
2 Sisters Detective Agency
by James Patterson, Candice Fox
Published by Century Australia
Source: Penguin Random House Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction
Attorney Rhonda Bird returns home to LA to bury her estranged father, and discovers that he left her two final surprises.
The first is a private detective agency.
The second is a teenage half-sister named Baby.
When Rhonda goes into her father's old office to close down the business, she gets drawn into a case involving a young man who claims he was abducted.
The investigation takes Rhonda and Baby to dark and dangerous places. Soon they are caught in the crosshairs of an angry criminal cartel and an ex-assassin seeking revenge . . .
Rhonda reminded me a little of Fox’s protagonist in her Crimson Lake series, Amanda Pharrell. I very much liked her but have to say the frequent mentions of her weight – as if that’s the only thing that defines her – grated a little. As an often overweight person myself I completely understand (and recognised) the fat person look-over but the mentions of breaking furniture, her eating habits and comments of others annoyed me a little and could certainly be triggering for some. Rhonda’s seemingly confident in her own body but there’s A LOT of disdain from others.
The book unfolds from Rhonda’s point of view – written in first person – but there are several other narrators. It was a little hard initially to pick the goodies from the baddies and I suspect that’s actually one of the points of this book – that there’s a fine line between who we are and what we do.
The overarching story arc is centred around Rhonda meeting her half-sister Baby. I adored Baby who is astonishingly complex for a 15 year old. Ostensibly superficial, she’s smart and sassy and understands way more than her (new) sister gives her credit for. The pair discover their father had some dealings with drug cartel so are grappling with that when they get pulled into a case involving one of Baby’s friends; also a former client of their father.
We’d already been introduced to the players in this thread before Rhonda and Baby become involved and I suspect that’s why I wasn’t sure who was who and whether they were important. That case involves a group of teenagers and the repercussions of their actions or ‘game-playing’. I initially hoped they weren’t meant to be the villains because I wondered how nefarious a group of teens could be, but the authors (Fox in particular I assume) has ensured they exhibit sufficient psychopathy to be taken seriously. Mostly.
Though this is billed as a ‘stand-alone’ it ends in a way that suggests there’ll be more in this series and I’d certainly like more of Rhonda and Baby as they’re a great pairing. Not to mention Rhonda’s potential love interest – Summerly, a police officer. And then of course there’s ‘the one who got away’ here who may be out for revenge.
2 Sisters Detective Agency by James Patterson and Candice Fox was published in Australia by Century Australia (Penguin Random House) and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.