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The Temporary Detective (Isobel Spice #1)
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The Temporary Detective (Isobel Spice #1)

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  305 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Phones, light typing…and murder.

Think breaking into show business is hard? Try landing a temp job without office skills. That’s the challenge facing aspiring actress Isobel Spice when she arrives in New York City, fresh out of college and deficient in PowerPoint. After being rejected by seven temp agencies for her lack of experience, Isobel sweet-talks recruiter James Coo
Kindle Edition, 1st, 280 pages
Published April 9th 2012 by Dulcet Press (first published June 12th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,022)
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Apr 08, 2013 Ron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Workplace settings are underutilized in mystery writing and as someone who spent fifteen years plus in contract work, the premise attracted my intention. A few pages into the Kindle sample I had to download the whole thing.

I loved the voice, wit and style. Characters are well realized and complex—especially Isobel and James. (Good job showing the flaws, BTW.) The dialogue is clever--banter worthy of the GILMORE GIRLS or BUNHEADS but not overly wordy. The theater and audition scenes have interes
Tahlia Newland
Feb 27, 2013 Tahlia Newland rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is a well-written and engaging story about an actress who takes a temp job, discovers a murder and can't stop trying to work out who did it. The man who gave her the temp job also takes an interest in solving the mystery in the guise of looking after his employee, who he is rather taken by, though he tries to pretend that isn't the case. The main character, Isobel is likeable and easy to relate to, as is James, her boss in the temp agency. He is an alcoholic with a controlling girlfriend th ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Jenn rated it liked it
This was a Kindle freebie. Not bad and I'm happy to report no glaring continuity or spelling/grammar issues.

Light detective story. Nice break from my typical UF and Epic Fantasy fare. Good character development and an interesting topic. Not too over the top in it's reasonings. More of a fun than a serious read. I'll read the second book.
Dec 31, 2012 Aditi rated it did not like it
As a fan of detective books, I was disappointed. The story was good, but the characters also seemed too immature and juvenile to be convincing detectives. They seem to have more stumbled upon the answer than actually solving the mystery.
Aug 11, 2015 Ricki rated it it was amazing
What a fun read this was! Isobel Spice is newly minted out of work actress in the big city. Looking for a way to pay her bills while waiting for her first gig, she finally gets a job thru temp agency...and then the fun begins!
This book is part mystery, part comedy, but very well written and a gem to read! If you are looking for a quick mystery read, this one is it! And you may be surprised at who-dun-it...and the reason why!
May 21, 2015 Crittermom rated it really liked it
Life as an aspiring actress in New York is far from easy. Parts are few and far between and the competition is intense. Survival in the big city requires money, and waiting tables is out of the question for Isobel (especially after dumping a hot lobster on a nun). Temping is the only viable option, but with no experience Isobel's opportunities are limited. Pluck and luck get her a temp position at Interbank Switzerland. Surviving it is a different matter, particularly after Isobel discovers a de ...more
James Moir
Jan 30, 2015 James Moir rated it really liked it
Interesting and fun little murder mystery novel.

The characters are colourful and deep, the plot unpredictable and twisty, the ending ... unpredictable!

A most enjoyable book. The characters really brought to life with a rich and colourful description of their lives and background. Their interaction is rather superficial and the detection work depends on too many coincidences. It also relies on the fact that the detectives are both useless and like to talk about the case to possible suspects - unr
Shantel Clemons
Feb 28, 2015 Shantel Clemons rated it really liked it
I purchased this book after reading "Bad Publicity" the second Isobel Spice book. I like both books. In the first book we get a glimpse into Isobel's story trying to make it in New York City as an actress who only does musical theater. Makes sense if you want to be a presence on The Great White Way. Well when you're schlepping to and from casting calls, you need a job to support your calling while you do so. So she registers with a Temp agency. Only the hiring manager, James, has some reservatio ...more
February Four
Oct 03, 2012 February Four rated it liked it
I didn't like the characters very much at first (especially the romance between James and Isobel), but Isobel as a character is consistently inconsistent, which is a strange thing to be attracted to. I'm not sure if I'll keep reading this series, but I haven't ruled it out.
Dec 19, 2012 Donna rated it liked it
An easy, light little read. I needed a break from the heavy stuff and chose this. As free books go, it was fun.
Dec 21, 2014 Cindy added it
Shelves: abandoned, 2014
Sorry, but I found Isobel too annoying, so I didn't finish this one.
Dec 21, 2015 Harika rated it really liked it
Shelves: curiousity, series, humor
Just not an edge of the seat thriller but a good mystery nonetheless. I was not disappointed by the treatment the author gave to the story, it was new and fresh to not have a love-story angle for the protagonist and I must say I liked it.

Too much in love with James' character, because he wasn't a typical jock-turned-serious but he really was someone with humility and usual doubts about himself, which was good considering he was the main lead.

Isobel was just funny witty and loud, which incidental
Tania Godwin-evans
Sep 13, 2015 Tania Godwin-evans rated it liked it
To enjoy this book one does have to suspend belief to a certain degree. But it is rather an interesting setting for this new series of crime dramas - if only all temp jobs were this interesting!

The prose is witty, charming and stylistic, as is Isobel Spice, an aspiring musical actress who is earning a crust while waiting for those all-important auditions hoping that one would lead to her ideal job. The auditions add an interesting dimension to this whole reading experience.

I enjoyed the interpla
Isobel Spice is such a fantastic character. She’s a little flaky, sort of like Becky Bloomwood of the Shopaholic series, but clever and intuitive as well. She basically tells it like it is which frequently gets her into trouble.

Isobel is an aspiring actress but that doesn’t pay the bills so she takes on temp work. She ends up placed in the Procurement department of a bank and quickly gets embroiled in a mystery when a disliked secretary is discovered dead in the bathroom. The scissors from Isobe
Jun 02, 2013 TAMMY CUEVAS rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery

Recent college grad Isobel Spice has just arrived in NYC with dreams of stardom dancing in her head. Realizing that she can't live on dreams, Isobel seeks employment through temp agencies. Although she has no real office experience, James Cooke takes a chance and sends her to an assignment at Interbank Switzerland. A full bladder is Isobel's undoing; during an emergency drill she makes a mad dash to the ladies' room, only to find a dead body in a stall. Isobel just won't let sleeping dogs lie a
Judy  at Musings and Ramblings
This is the first book in the Isobel Spice Series by Joanne Sydney Lessner. We meet Isobel Spice, aspiring actress during a job interview at the temp agency Temp Zone, as Isobel is trying to convince recruiter James Cooke to give her a shot. Isobel is fresh out of college from the state of Wisconsin, having only been in New York for about a week and has had absolutely no luck signing on with a temp agency thus far. All the good ones want experienced workers, but without an actual job she is neve ...more
Kim Reads (Read Your Writes Book Reviews)
Reviewed by Kim
for Read Your Writes Book Reviews

Granted, I haven’t read a lot of cozy mysteries, but TEMPORARY DETECTIVE is different from ones I’ve read in the past. It’s a little hard to explain. The book has humorous moments, which I’ve come to expect in the cozies. But the book also deals with real issues like alcoholism and coming to terms with who you really are as a person and being accepted.

For me, the book had a slow start. It was almost enough for me to n
The Baking Bookworm
Sep 25, 2012 The Baking Bookworm rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, kindle
Synopsis: Isobel Spice is an aspiring actress who has recently moved to NYC. While Isobel has an excellent singing voice and acting ability, getting a gig in the city is proving to be harder than she originally thought. In an attempt to go after her dream while still making ends meet, Isobel scours the city for a job at various temp agencies. Unfortunately without any marketable office skills many temp agencies turn her down.

Getting more than a little nervous about her financial situation, Isobe
This story began with a comedic air. Isobel is a likable and really funny character while still getting down to business. She is one of those that talks before she can think what she is blurting out and it gets her in trouble so to speak quite a few times but yet keeps her out of trouble at the same time.

If you like quick and funny characters with a bit of romance and mystery tossed in you will love this story!
Jan 06, 2014 Kren rated it it was amazing
This is a fun mystery that grows and grows in characters and complexity. I didn't actually expect to like it but I did!

I had read a couple of reviews that gave it one star due to sex and language. No more bad language than any tv cop show or late night talk show. The "sex" was hillarious and brief. The author did a great job of presenting a just out of college, new to NYC young woman, trying to make sense of things and start a life.

Try it. You might enjoy it. I did. And I'm 64 years old. Lighten
Sharon Kennedy
Dec 26, 2014 Sharon Kennedy rated it liked it
well, I definitely read this book, but not according to the description, as the one I read involved a murder at Interbank Switzerland! it was OK, though.
Linda Cole
Dec 22, 2014 Linda Cole rated it it was amazing
Really liked

Very different type of girl detective character. A lot of clues that were misleading and that added to the intrigue
Feb 12, 2013 Lillie rated it it was ok
I had a hard time suspending disbelief at all the perverted people in a single small department of a large bank. Although Isobel fumbles around on her first job assignment, she manages to figure out all the secrets her coworkers are hiding. I liked the story line about James as a recovering alcoholic. I admired his efforts to stay sober--I didn't admire his attraction to Isobel when he was in a relationship (at least a sexual relationship) with another woman. The bed-hopping didn't add anything ...more
Christopher Carter
May 27, 2014 Christopher Carter rated it really liked it
A surprisingly fun read. The characters were not what I expected at all which made the book even more of a fun read. This is a story I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a good and deep laugh and an engrossing and engaging story
Rachel Skinner
Aug 02, 2012 Rachel Skinner rated it really liked it
This was probably closer to a 3.5 for me. There wasn't anything I didn't like, but it didn't cross into 'favorite book' territory. I like the New York setting and the various characters aspiring to be actors. Although it would have been nice to see more romance with James and Izabelle, I appreciate that the author is taking things slow for the sake of building the series. It's also nice to see a hero with a real-world problem (recovering alcoholic).
Mary Newcomb
Isobel Spice is an actor. Until someone, anyone, in New York recognizes that she is a temp. Within the first hours of her first job she finds a dead body and can't resist investigating. She and her acting friends piece it all together with some help from her contact at the temp agency. This is an interesting cast of characters, I am looking forward to reading some more of their adventures.
Michelle Jones
Apr 01, 2015 Michelle Jones rated it did not like it
I read about 20% of the book before calling it quits. I assume the author was trying to make Isobel a lovable ditz, but I thought she was simply annoying. I just couldn't make myself care about her or any of the other characters, and felt the writing was too choppy, so The Temporary Detective becomes my first DNF of 2015.
Mary Souther
Feb 07, 2013 Mary Souther rated it liked it
fluffy but entertaining. At first I was rather annoyed by the main character, Isobel, as I thought she was portrayed as making incredibly stupid decisions but was supposed to be intelligent at the same time. However, she did grow on me and by the end I found myself rooting for her and wanting her to succeed.
Jan 15, 2013 Caroline rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and look forward to the second in the series. I liked Isobel, the main character, but it was James and his struggle with his alcoholism that really grabbed my attention, okay, and my heart. It's a well done side story that will keep me anxious to read book two.
Dec 30, 2012 Cindy rated it liked it
I listened to this using the text to speech function on my Kindle. It was an interesting mystery. Hopefully, the main characters being developed will continue into the next books in the series. Isobel's comments are sometimes humorous. Several important social issues are addressed.
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Sisterhood of the...: Pandora's Bottle by Joanne Sydney Lessner 42 23 Sep 06, 2013 11:57AM  
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Writer, singer, and actor Joanne Sydney Lessner draws on her own experiences pursuing a performing career in New York City for her acclaimed Isobel Spice Mysteries: THE TEMPORARY DETECTIVE, BAD PUBLICITY, AND JUSTICE FOR SOME, and OFFED STAGE LEFT. With humor and a bit of romance, Isobel juggles auditions and temp jobs, solving murders along the way, while Joanne’s inside knowledge provides a wind ...more
More about Joanne Sydney Lessner...

Other Books in the Series

Isobel Spice (3 books)
  • Bad Publicity (An Isobel Spice Novel, #2)
  • And Justice for Some (Isobel Spice #3)

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