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Living the Vida Lola (A Lola Cruz Mystery #1)
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Living the Vida Lola (Lola Cruz Mystery #1)

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  185 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Meet Lola Cruz. After paying her dues as an intern, she’s now a full-fledged detective at Camacho and Associates. Her boss is Manny Camacho, a muy caliente former cop with a mysterious ex-wife, a Lara Croft look-alike girlfriend, and a sudden personal interest in Lola. Her first big case? A missing mother who may not want to be found. And to make her already busy life even ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 20th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published January 8th 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Lisa
I got "Pleating For Mercy" by Melissa Bourbon and thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Bliss, Texas. Deciding to check out the author's website I discovered the "Lola" series written as Misa Ramirez.

I have to digress here and state that I read... A LOT. So for me to spend more than $8.00 on a book (especially in digital format) I have to really enjoy it. There are so many methods to obtain literature (audiobooks, libraries, paperbackswap.com) I have to really justify to myself spending on books
...more
Jacob Proffitt
I’m not really sure why I bothered finishing this book. I was emotionally finished with it by about the 2/3 mark, though I’d been coasting by the halfway point. I think I was just curious whether or not Lola finally gets with Jack or not.

The problem is that I didn’t care much for Lola. She’s kind of a spaz for someone who is in her late twenties and in an established profession. And she’s a huge spaz for someone who is supposedly a Private Investigator. Of course, it didn’t help that Lola has so
...more
Gail
I had to read a book with the character named Lola and Living the vida Lola! Lola is one of my fantasy names!!

And this book is great. Lola is an almost thirty something girl living in Sacremento upstairs from her parents. To their eternal consternation and disapproval, she's a black belt and a private detective. She is living her career dream ever since she stalked her brother's friend Jack when she was 14.

Lola fields a missing person case. As she starts to investigate she finds a card of a rep
...more
Susan
This sparkling debut novel, set in Sacramento, is narrated by Dolores (Lola) Cruz, a detective at the Martinez agency. She's been assigned a missing person case, and is determined to find the woman, who disappeared leaving her six year old son behind. What can her high school crush Jack, recently returned to town as a reporter on the local newspaper, have with her case? She's found his card among the missing woman's possessions. And is Jack--hotter than ever--really interested in Lola? Speaking ...more
Nolan
This was a fun little mystery/romance I thought the writing was a bit redundant and shabby in spots. Lola at age 28 isn't your typical PI. Those who think of her as shallow and clueless do so to their peril. A young boy's mom hone missing in Sacramento, and it's up to Lola to figure out where she is and what happened. This is a fun book in which Latin culture is front and center. You see the little conflicts here between Lola the Catholic girl and Lola the temptress who has had a thing for repor ...more
Jill
This combination cozy mystery/hot romance novel is the adorable first installment of a series featuring Private Investigator Dolores “Lola” Cruz.

Lola, 28, is single, still living in her parents home in a separate apartment with her brother Antonio and her beloved dog Salsa. She has never quite gotten over her crush on Antonio’s best friend, Jack Callaghan. Jack, 31, has recently returned to Sacramento and Lola is more than excited to find him back in her life again. But she has a missing-person-
...more
Aurian Booklover
It took me a while to get into this book. I am still not sure if Lola is smart, or fluffy, and things just come to her. As I don’t speak or read Spanish, I did not really like all the Spanish/Mexican words used by all the characters. I am Dutch, I can read French, German and English besides my own language. But Spanish is mostly beyond me. So not knowing what precisely was being said, time and again, threw me out of the story.

Lola is a beautiful 27 year old woman, still living at home, in an ap
...more
Stephanie
I really enjoyed reading this book! I love how the author used spanish & spanglish thru the entire book.....one can relate! The characters are real....Lola can be any one of us! Very enjoyable......
Catherine Spinelli
A fast paced and witty read! The main character is a Latina PI learining the ropes and coping with family expectations and love life issues. It is a fast read and very entertaining.
SallyHP
This was such a fun read! Very reminiscent of Bondswoman Stephanie Plum...loved it, and can't wait for the next chapter in the Lola Cruz saga!
Elizabeth
A few chapters in, I almost stopped reading. This book seemed way to much like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels. Lola is a detective, not a bounty hunter; her home is in Sacramento not Trenton; her protective mother and goofy relatives are different only in details. Her life is also flanked by two gorgeous men.

But after putting it down as derivative and not very exciting, I picked it up again, and was glad I did. It was never very exciting, or very funny, or very engrossing, but it was ch
...more
Sheryl
This is a great new series! It was very entertaining.
Melliane
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I saw a very nice review about this book, it was even compared to the Janet Evanovich’s series. So you as you think, being a fan of the Stephanie Plum novels, I could not wait to start it and see for myself how it was. Even if we can compare Lola and Stephanie by their disdain for guns, I do not think the two books are really similar. The two novels are very different, although the genre is the same.

Lola is a young detective in a big office and only dreams t
...more
Amy
Per my ususal reviews I won't bother rewriting the synopsis on the jacket (sorry, pet peeve of mine), but will tell you my opinions. I'm torn on my thoughts of this book. I liked the characters okay except I found Lola to be a contradiction sometimes. She was supposed to have passed several years of internship with the PI firm she works at and so one would think be reasonably skilled, and be a black belt in kung-fu, run miles everyday, and do yoga. Oh, and she is 28, so not totally naive about t ...more
Julie
This is a light-hearted mystery/romance novel. It's not Stephanie Plum and for a debut novel I think it's wrong to compare them as some people have.

I like the characters on the whole but I think that considering Lola is 28 she comes across as naive in places and seems to think like an 18 year old. But then on reflection most people think of themselves as still younger in their heads when they are older, if that makes sense. So I'm not too worried about that and I will read the next one to see if
...more
Lucinda
Living the Vida Lola (Minotaur 2009) introduces Lola Cruz, a budding private investigator at Camacho and Associates, in Sacramento, California. Lola, who shares a flat with her brother Antonio above the restaurant and living quarters of her parents and grandfather, loves her close-knit family but longs for more freedom, especially after reconnecting with Jack Callaghan, her unrequited lust from high school. Lola’s family isn’t crazy about her job as a private investigator, and her mother firmly ...more
Livin' la  Vida Latina
Reviewed by: Celia

This is not a good book

This is suppose to be a story of sexy, witty, smart Lola Cruz, PI. Correct?

Well, first of all, Lola struck me as a poor detective. She has the sassy spunk n' all, but she lacked the intuitive and deductive reasoning skills that come with being a great detective. Maybe I was spoiled with being a "Monk" fan (Monk being the most incredible genius I ever saw with him being able to see things that no other detective saw) but Lola was not even an amateur sleu
...more
Kaye
Dolores (Lola) Cruz, full-fledged PI, working for Camacho and Associates, gets her first case. Emily Diggs, mother of three was missing. Dolores investigates, using a journal of Emily's supplied by a former roommate. However, her investigation leads to an encounter with Jack Callaghan, her crush from high school and her brother Antonio's friend. Lola had wanted to be a PI even in high school, and she took some pictures of Jack and another girl while she was practicing. If she isn't busy enough, ...more
Maureen
Well done example of the chicklit-cozy-mystery-with-romance-subplot genre. Especially like the glimpse into Mexican-American culture. My only (small) criticism would be that there are too many secrets left unrevealed about the main characters. I guess that's so you'll have to read the sequels, eh? ;-)
Elizabeth
I'm not even going to bother with a synopsis. If you've read the jacket copy and/or Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, you'll know this song and dance by heart, anyway.

The key to spotting the real from the fake is in the details. While LIVING THE VIDA LOLA is largely average, Ramirez's downfall is in her characters, most of whom are too familiar to go unmentioned. On the plus side, Jack is far less annoying than Evanovich's Joe Morelli. On the con side, even that isn't enough to save the b
...more
Julia
Lola Cruz is just beginning her private invesitgator career, much to the chagrin of her more traditional mother. The action takes place around Sacramento and Lola's life is just about as crazy as her job. From an upcoming family quinceanera, a mysterious boss, and a former high school crush, Ramirez's book is populated with fresh and fun characters. Seems like a great start to a new series, I will definitely read more about Lola's adventures.
LeeAnn Derdeyn
This book is so fun! A mystery with a love interest. A good vacation read: steamy but not porn and appropriate even for highschoolers. The author has a blog that is reveals her as a fun person as well. I'm in Dallas, so I also like that I'm supporting a Dallas writer! The sequel is out soon and I'll be in line for that.
Phyl
Totally loved this book - first in the series. And yes i just went to my Indigo Books to buy the others! That speaks volumes given that this was a first in the series and i usually am not that keen on first in series books.
I would give this a 4.25 out of 5 stars!

Abigail
An enjoyable, tough-broad/babe read... in between Janet Evanovich's books. Characters feel familiar because they are reminiscent of those in the Stephanie Plum series, but they were friends (to me) all the same. Wishing for better editing in future books.
Carrie
This will be a fun series, I want to see what happens with Jack and Manny.
Lpage1479 page
I enjoyed this mystery with a Hispanic woman detective in Sacramento.
Yolanda
Can't wait to read book #2 in this series.
Jerrie Alexander
Witty, great read. HOlds your attention!
Sandra
This book did not focus enough on the mystery. Lola was too busy getting all wrapped up in her high school crush.
Krysti
Krysti marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2014
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Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in Northern California to write full-time amidst horses and Longhorns in North Texas. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enou ...more
More about Melissa Bourbon Ramirez...
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