Two from S.K. Thomas

7692740Melissa was looking for something different, she moved from Tupolo to Barrington in search of a new life and some excitement. As soon as she gets into town she gets more than she bargained for when she has a run in with a police officer named Max and is left wondering if she should be afraid. After the incident she meets a new friend named Alice, gets a job in a telemarketing firm and marries a man named John. Things are going well until Alice disappears and Max becomes the main suspect. Melissa is determined to find out what happened and gets help from her husband along with a detective named Jack and soon finds herself as a part of a dangerous game.

Pawned Queen by SK Thomas is a mystery novella that I had my issues with. First of all the general story was pretty good but the way it was told was a little confusing. The book seems to jump around from the future, past and present without explaining that we are going to a different time period and in some cases it is done within a chapter. Also I thought there was too much happening to Melissa within a short period of time. She moves, gets married, has a strange run in with a cop, then gets a new friend and then deals with her disappearance. Also mentioning that Melissa knew an Alice in the past seemed unnecessary.

Pawned Queen is an entertaining read despite its flaws. I still wanted to know what was going to happen and I liked how Melissa’s character changed in the course of the book. I think this book may have been better if it was a little longer and it was a little more clear when we switched to different time periods. Pawned Queen is a book that has its moments and I think mystery fans will enjoy it.

27134949Transcending Queen by S.K. Thomas is the second book in the Pawned Queen series and life has not been going smoothly for Melissa. She is in debt, feeling depressed and now Jack is at her door trying to get her to work on a new case with their detective agency. Even though she doesn’t feel like going back to work, she does what she has to do. Now Melissa has to go to a church and investigate Father Clayton who is being accused of manipulating the trust of the church goers. Things get complicated as Melissa takes a liking to Father Clayton and what’s going on at the church is not what it seems.

I loved the character of Melissa in this book, she has  grown from the events in Pawned Queen. She goes from a woman who is meek and fearful to a woman who has issues but shows how tough she is in Transcending Queen.  Melissa is a woman who does what she has to do to survive even though she is coming apart at the seems. In addition to some good characters in this book, SK Thomas also gives us another good mystery.

All the complaints I had about Pawned Queen were fixed in Transcending Queen, the writing was improved and the story was better than the first book. The story doesn’t go where you think its going to go and it was interesting watching Melissa decide what she wants to do about Father Clayton. Sometimes the difference between good and evil isn’t so clear-cut and deciding the right course of action isn’t easy. This was an entertaining read and as the Pawned Queen series keeps getting better, I’m left to wonder where the next book in the series will go.

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