Wednesday, May 27, 2009

PJ Sugar: Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren

So what's Susan May Warren's latest book, PJ Sugar: Nothing But Trouble, about?

PJ Sugar knows three things for sure:

After traveling the country for ten years hoping to shake free from the trail of disaster that’s become her life, she needs a fresh start.

The last person she wants to see when she heads home for her sister’s wedding is Boone—her former flame and the reason she left town.

Her best friend’s husband absolutely did not commit the first murder Kellogg, Minnesota, has seen in more than a decade.

What PJ doesn’t know is that when she starts digging for evidence, she’ll uncover much more than she bargained for—a deadly conspiracy, a knack for investigation, and maybe, just maybe, that fresh start she’s been longing for.

It's not fair to say that trouble happens every time PJ Sugar is around, but it feels that way when she returns to her hometown, looking for a fresh start. Within a week, her former teacher is murdered and her best friend's husband is arrested as the number-one suspect. Although the police detective investigating the murder--who also happens to be PJ's former flame--is convinced it's an open-and-shut case, PJ's not so sure. She begins digging for clues in an effort to clear her friend's husband and ends up reigniting old passions, uncovering an international conspiracy, and solving a murder along the way. She also discovers that maybe God can use a woman who never seems to get it right

I read Nothing But Trouble in two days. It would have taken me less time to read the book, but I had to eat and sleep and do some writing of my own during the same time. The book grabbed me from the first two sentences: PJ Sugar would never escape trouble. Clearly she couldn't shake free of it--regardless of how far and fast she ran.

Nothing But Trouble is a fun read and I'm already looking forward to the next book in the PJ Sugar series. How can you not like a gal who disguises herself as a massage therapist and a lawn maintenance person just to help prove her best friend's husband isn't a murderer? And in between running down answers to questions, PJ battles her past--with her old boyfriend, with her mom, and even with herself and the choices she's made.

Susan May Warren left me--and all her other readers--hanging with a few unanswered questions. What's PJ stand for? And what's going to happen between PJ and her high school sweetheart, Boone? Or PJ and the mysterious new guy?

Warren does a good job at getting to the heart of her characters. I find myself thinking about them after I finish the book, wishing I could call them up and give them some advice to help them figure out their lives. Or maybe they could help me figure out mine. I find myself reading and nodding my head, thinking, "I know just how you feel."

That's when you know you are reading good fiction--when it feels like real life.

That said, Warren's plot gets a little sidetracked with PJ's sister's Russian in-laws--see how convoluted that looks just when I write it? Try keeping track of it as a subplot in her book. It added some comic relief, but at times I found it distracting.

To get a dose of PJ Sugar, go here to read the first chapter of Nothing But Trouble. Be forewarned--you're gonna want to read the whole book!

To find out what other bloggers are saying about Nothing But Trouble, go here.


Roxanne Sherwood said...

I can't wait to read Nothing But Trouble. Thanks for reviewing this book.

Susan said...

Thanks for the wonderful review! You'll have to join our super fun facebook Sugar Party on June 19th to learn more about the second book in this series...:)