Shelleyrae at Book'd Out's Reviews > Bare-Naked Lola

Bare-Naked Lola by Misa Ramirez
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's review
May 17, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: arc-are, netgalley-reviews
Read on May 15, 2012 — I own a copy

Bare Naked Lola is the third book in the Lola Cruz Mystery series by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez, who is also the author of the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series.
This fun, cozy series features Latina Delores (Lola) Cruz, a private detective at Camacho and Associates by day and a waitress at the restaurant owned by her family, Abuelitas, by night. Despite her penchant for finding herself at the center of awkward and dangerous situations, Lola is determined to prove herself as a PI, even with the objections of her traditional Catholic family and constant distraction in the form of gorgeous journalist, Jack Callaghan. The comparison to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series is inevitable and there are general similarities, but that doesn't detract from the enjoyment this author provides.
Lola is a fun and feisty heroine who is witty, smart and capable of looking after herself (as evidenced by her Black Belt in martial arts). She is determined to solve her first undercover case, investigating threats made against the Royals Courtside Dance team, even if it means wearing the skimpy cheer outfits, and duct tape, in front of thousands of people. As a good Catholic girl, Lola finds baring too much skin uncomfortable so when the clues lead her to a Naturist resort she has to decide where to look, and exactly how far she will go, to close the investigation.
While the mystery element, identifying the sender of the notes, and later the killer, worked out satisfactorily, I think the plot would have benefited by having different perpetrators for the incidents, just to add a little more depth to the investigation. I really had no clue who to suspect for at least three quarters of the book and didn't see the motive coming at all which I am not too sure about. I think a few hints seeded earlier in the story would have been a good thing. Sara, Callaghan's loco ex, does provide a sub plot of sorts but no real complications.
I enjoyed meeting the characters that populate the series - Lola's family, colleagues and friends. Even though this is the first of the series I have read I didn't feel as I was missing anything crucial as Bourbon provides some back story.

I enjoyed Bare Naked Lola, Bourbon has a great sense of humor and this book is a quick and easy read. If you are a fan of the mystery/comedy genre the Lola Cruz mystery series is sure to please, keep an eye out for the previous titles Living the Vida Lola and Hasta la Vista, Lola!.

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