Monday, October 23, 2023

Dangerous Women by Mark de Castrique

First Line: Chief Justice Clarissa Baxter meticulously cleared the surface of her desk.
The stakes are high in a case deciding the future of clean energy, and people want to know how the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is going to vote. Not only do they want to know, they will do anything to get this information. 

An attack on two law clerks leaves one dead and the other in a coma. The ensuing coverup is only the beginning of a trail of bodies and too many people at cross purposes. Only one thing is clear: Chief Justice Clarissa Baxter has a target on her back. Extraordinary measures will have to be taken in order to protect her. 

What is needed is an off-the-grid hero with friends in high places. Enter 76-year-old Ethel Fiona Crestwater, retired FBI agent-turned-boardinghouse-landlady and Jesse Cooper, her young double-first-cousin-twice-removed. Jesse brings tech savvy, enthusiasm, and a talent for intrigue to the table to be joined by Ethel's razor-sharp instincts and Bond-worthy skills. Together, they stand against anyone who wants to harm the Chief Justice.

I have never been disappointed by a book written by Mark de Castrique, and this continues to hold true for the second book in his new Secret Lives series, Dangerous Women. This is a fast-paced, intelligent political thriller filled with wit and a cast that makes me smile.
76-year-old Ethel Fiona Crestwater is the landlady of young FBI agents, and she has fierce maternal instincts when it comes to each and every one of her boarders. She swears by Ruth Bader Ginsberg's workout, and there's no end to the high-level contacts she's made over the years. In truth, she's a legend to people in the know. I'd say that Ethel's forgotten more than most of the current FBI agents will ever know... except that I don't think she's ever forgotten one single thing. Watching her work, and watching young Jesse learn from her, is a delight.
The environmental conundrum behind Dangerous Women is thought-provoking. "What environmental price do we pay to save the environment? What people do we harm in the process?" It is a question we inhabitants of Planet Earth will be forced to answer over and over again.
If you're in the mood for fast-paced excitement spear-headed by a brilliant mind, pick up Dangerous Women. I recommend reading the first book in the series, Secret Lives, because of the characters, but it's not strictly necessary in order for you to enjoy this second book.

Dangerous Women by Mark de Castrique
eISBN: 9781728258348
Poisoned Pen Press © 2023
eBook, 320 pages
Thriller, #2 Secret Lives mystery
Rating: A
Source: Net Galley