Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Review - In Hot Water


In Hot Water by J.J. Cook
The Third Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery

Stella Griffin, the new fire chief, has finally decided to stay in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, leaving Chicago behind. Her volunteer crew is becoming a family, but going through some growing pains. Stella has fully accepted Eric's presence-but others are afraid of it-especially councilman Bob Floyd who is determined to get rid of Eric. As In Hot Water opens Bob has just brought the property where Stella lives, in the log cabin that Eric built, and a place to which Eric is tied. Not only has be bought it, he rented a bulldozer to tear down her home-without giving her any notice. Will Bob destroy Stella's home, and Eric? In addition to worrying about Eric and her home, Stella has more professional worries. A fire has claimed the life of a prominent citizen and she joins forces with a state arson investigator to investigate. But someone doesn't want them to discover the truth and will take drastic steps to stop them.

Stella certainly does get into hot water in this latest installment of the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery series. Since coming to Sweet Pepper, Tennessee Stella Griffin has had to deal with the good ol' boys club. Now she also has to deal with a councilman who's on the brink of madness, kidnapping, intimidation, possible corruption, as well as several potential suitors and the gossip that comes with living in a small town.

In Hot Water is an adrenaline filled ride from start to finish. As soon as Stella faces one dilemma she lands herself in another predicament. Yet J.J. Cook keeps a directed focus and never allows the book to become melodramatic. There may be a ghost involved, but the action is reality based and justifiable. The dangers Stella encounters are a necessary evil to drive the plot, as well as aid in character development, for the characters have grown, both within themselves as well as their relationships with others.

Recipes and tips about peppers included!

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