Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Book Review: Playing with Fire by J.J. Cook

Title: Playing with Fire
Author: J.J. Cook
Series: Book 2 of Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Paperback
Source: Received for Review from Author
Reviewed by: Tess

If I haven't told you before, I'll tell you now, every book that Joyce & Jim Lavene (J.J. Cook) write is better than the one before. Their talent for story telling amazes me with every book they write.

Stella's parents, from Chicago, turn up in Sweet Pepper, TN, hoping to convince Stella that she needs to return home with them. They also brought Stella's cheating ex-fiance with them, (now why did they think that would help their case?). The last thing Stella wants is to be stuck entertaining dear old Doug for any length of time. Stella knows that she should go back to Chicago and resume her life there, but just can't seem to force herself to leave.

What might the murder of newly retired police officer, Mace Chum, have in common with a 40 year old cold case involving Fire Chief Eric Gamlyn? Stella is pulled deeper and deeper into Eric's murder, especially as she shares a cabin with his ghost. She had moved to Sweet Pepper a year ago, planning to stay for just a few months until she had trained a volunteer fire department there, now she won't leave until she feels that Eric will be left in peace.

As always the J.J. Cook leaves us with just the right ending, to keep us all on the edge of our chairs, waiting for the next book. I love the fact that they place strong, inspiring women into roles that are not main stream for them. From Sheriff Sharyn Howard, in the mysteries of the same name, to Fire Chief Stella Griffin, in this series, any young lady who patterned themselves after one of these heroines, would have a step up in life. I have and will continue to urge my granddaughters to read the books by J.J. Cook, and even if they absorb just a small piece of these women, I will be content.


  1. Very well said about book role models!

  2. I agree with you about these authors! Their books are hard to put down!
    Im currently reading this book, and really enjoying it!



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