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Book 2 of Fran and Ken Stein mystery
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Pub Date 04 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 31 May 2024

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Nineteen-year-old trans woman Eliza is missing . . . and her worried father sets private investigators Fran and Ken Stein on her trail in this second instalment of the light-hearted and fun cozy mystery series with a paranormal twist.

Taking a break from their usual business of helping adoptees find their birth parents, New York private investigators - and super-sized, ever-so-slightly-paranormal siblings - Fran and Ken Stein accept a job to find a missing young woman.

Nineteen-year-old college student Eliza Hennessey is trans - and she has a rocky relationship with her father, their new client. Brian's convinced his daughter's vanished, rather than run away, but Fran and Ken aren't so sure she wants to be found.

The PI duo investigate, and soon Fran is butting heads with her irritating sort-of-ex-boyfriend Mank at the NYPD, who has what seems to be a similar case on his desk. But not even Fran could guess how tangled their investigations are going to get, and how deep they'll need to dive into murder and mayhem to solve the case!

The new instalment of the Fran and Ken Stein mystery series, following Ukulele of Death, has it all: unique characters, witty humour and a twisty mystery plot to die for!

Nineteen-year-old trans woman Eliza is missing . . . and her worried father sets private investigators Fran and Ken Stein on her trail in this second instalment of the light-hearted and fun cozy...

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ISBN 9781448312030
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Average rating from 6 members

Featured Reviews

Note this book is the second in a series. It can be read stand alone, though, as all important characters and events are described within this book.

Overall, I thought this was a fun book. Investigator Fran Stein has a unique narrative voice and concept, and I enjoyed following the case with her. In particular, I enjoyed how the investigation highlighted how different finding a missing person is contemporary times, as well as hard it can be (in some ways) to purposefully disappear if someone is tracking your movements. The primary case overall centers around finding, and then protecting, a missing 19-year old transwoman, and the book did a pretty good job of tackling some concerns of such an individual.

That said, I found Stein's investigation of her on-the-run parents pretty distracting. Maybe I would feel differently if I read the first book, but I would have enjoyed more focus on just the case at hand in this one.

I think this is a good book for a little light reading, especially if you like a mix of sci-fi (soft), science conspiracies, and mystery. For those who are squeamish, there is a description of a murder, but it's not overly gory.

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This is the second book in the Fran and Ken Stein series. They are sister and brother and are private investigators in New York. This time they are looking for a missing person. Eliza who has recently come out to her father as trans is missing and her father is very worried. This is not something that Fran would normally deal with but aspects of the case/story intrigue her. For those who didn't read the first book please do or you will miss out on Fran and Ken's back story. It's fair to say that they are both a little unusual and not simply that they are much taller than most people. Have a USB port for recharging is "interesting"… They have a back story as far as their parents are concerned and that forms a small part of this story.

While Fran has fallen out with her NYPD (boy)friend from the last book they are managing to be civilised initially when they find they are both interested in aspects of this case. The book follows the twists and turns of the case as well as their personal lives. As someone from the other side of the pond I have to say that this is very New York to me, maybe it felt more so than the last one. However I did find it an easy and entertaining reading.

I found the first book entertaining and amusing and could say the same about this one. I really like Fran as a character - her introspective dialogues can be very funny. I guess the story is not particularly deep but it was satisfying enough. The pace is decent and the characters generally work well for me. These are fairly lightweight stories however there's nothing wrong with that and sometimes they fit in really well. I'm sure I will keep reading any future offerings in this series.

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