Bits and Pieces: A Mattie James Mystery


MYSTERY:  Matti James needed a change. Recently widowed after spending years in a less-than-sizzling relationship, she had the uncontrollable urge to shed off her old Chicago persona, and look for the woman she knew herself to truly be hidden beneath years of pretending to be another. Piling her bird and belongings into her car, she headed west. Driven more by instinct than destination, she found herself in a cul-de-sac in Henderson County, Las Vegas, Nevada. Moving into the third and final house on the peculiar street known as Clementine Road, she quickly realized she had more than boxes to unpack. Visits from “In-Betweeners,” local police, and an unusual group of middle-aged Nancy Drew wannabes, her quiet attempt at rediscovery evolved into an adventurous game of cat and mouse…literally with one of her neighbors housing a wildcat refuge.

This novel had everything a good mystery needed – beautiful people, mysterious foreigners, whispers of misdeeds, and “souls” in need. Unger’s writing kept pace with the events of the plot line very reminiscent of Agatha Christie type reads. With well-developed characters and seeds of information blossoming into vivid and at times horrifying fruition, this story did not disappoint though some narratives ran longer than necessary. As the initial release of the “Matti James” series, readers would be eager to pop back in to her unusual residence to see what new troubles she and her group of amateur sleuths unearthed. 

Amy Willis