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Mystery author #49: Karen Kijewski

Title: Katapult
Series detective: Kat Colorado
No. in series: 2
Year of publication: 1990
Type of mystery: Murder
Type of investigator: Private investigator
Setting & time: Sacramento, California, USA; late 20th century

Story:
Private investigator Kat Colorado is upset and angry when John, her friend and cousin by informal adoption, is found murdered. Their grandmother (John’s real and Kat’s informally adopted gran) sends Kat on a quest to find John’s killer and discover the whereabouts of his sister, who has been missing for 4 years. Kat is soon in over her head, dealing with determined criminals who will stop at nothing to stay out of jail. There is also a family drama brewing and a young streetwalker who needs to be rescued.

Review and verdict:
Kat Colorado is a typical hard-boiled female PI with a nose for trouble, a heart of gold and a troubled past that she wears like a medal. Unlike Jill Smith in Susan Dunlap books that I reviewed earlier, she is an almost instantly likable character with a distinct voice and personality (and a sense of humour). Kat’s “grandmother” is an indomitable old trooper who I am sure will remind many readers of their own grannies, but John’s sister is made out to be an unbelievable innocent who on top of that behaves like a spoiled rotten 14-year old, which I find rather implausible after all that is supposed to have happened to her.

The plot is well written and there are some unexpected twists in it that make the story an entertaining read, even if the main plotline itself is predictable for the most part. All in all, I would not mind reading more of the Kat Colorado books. 3+ stars.

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