by F J Messina
To Be Published April 1, 2018, by Blair/Brooke Publishing
Genre: Mystery / Romance
Format: Kindle Edition
You get what you can get when you can get it. That’s how it goes in this business.
Down the Rabbit Hole is FJ Messina’s first novel and the first in a planned series of mysteries featuring private investigator Sonia Vitale and her business partner Jet. The Bluegrass Files series will follow the adventures of the women of Bluegrass Confidential Investigations as they solve big cases in their small town.
This novel is set primarily in Lexington, KY with attention given to Lexington Castle, the sprawling farms, and of course, the bourbon! It is in this small-town setting that Sonia takes on a case to catch a man cheating on his girlfriend and winds up uncovering much, much more than infidelity. At the same time, she attracts the attention of more than one man – both of whom may end up being instrumental in solving her case, ending her recent romantic drought, and saving her life.
Messina’s debut novel has the potential to grow into a well-loved series. Readers who fall in love with Sonia and Jet will forgive the sometimes clunky flashbacks and their weepiness and will revel in the constant action: car chases, shoot-outs, and clandestine night stakeouts. Plus, there are plenty of clever traps set for “bad guys” which don’t work out just as often as they do.
I would recommend Down the Rabbit Hole to fans of complicated love triangles who don’t mind a little I Love Lucy-type humor with their mysteries. At times the main character comes off as a bit fragile and indecisive, and that can be annoying for those who appreciate a more assertive lead character. However, the author may have been trying to portray her as a more believable personality.
Messina’s second and third books in this series, The Bluegrass Files: Twisted Dreams and The Bluegrass Files: The Bourbon Brotherhood, are already in the works and planned for 2018 releases.
I gave the book 3 generous stars mainly because I believe in rewarding a genuinely good first effort.
*Many thanks to NetGalley and Blair Brooke Publishing for the opportunity to read and review the ARC of this book.
About the Author
Messina was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of a German-immigrant mother and a first-generation Italian-American father, neither of whom could speak English until they entered public school. It wasn’t until early high school that Frank found his life-long passion─music.
Messina really didn’t begin writing fiction novels until the summer of 2015 when he and his wife used the beautiful backdrop of Asheville, NC to lay the foundations of what would eventually become the novel, Down the Rabbit Hole.
(Bio fragments from author’s own website)