Title: Cover Shot (Headlines in High Heels 5)
Author: LynDee Walker
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication Date: 2015
When you are in the newspaper business, slow crime activity makes for dull reading, but reporter Nichelle Clarke’s wish for some excitement comes with bang. The murder of a wealthy and well-renowned doctor should be front page news, but the police are dragging their feet with official identification of the victim. Nichelle uses her charms and wiles to discover not only the doctor’s identity, but also that he was heavily involved in cancer research and drug trials. For further complicate matters, all this prior associates had nothing but complimentary things to say about the man who left public practice to work on private inquiries. Nichelle’s primary police contact Aaron seems to be under pressure to keep a very tight lid on the case, but from who?
In a seemingly unrelated matter, a mysterious guy with a rifle takes an entire hospital hostage. His request is to speak with Nichelle herself and when she faces the gunman, she discovers that there is a lot more to the story than appears. The police are under pressure to make an arrest, but there are way too many “whys” to the story and Nichelle keeps digging to discover the truth.
Complicating matters, the higher ups at the Richmond Telegraph seem to be aggressively trying to coerce Nichelle’s editor into retirement. The truth behind both the hospital gunman and the murdered doctor may help to secure her editor’s job and her own shot at a story of a lifetime, but it may also threaten the one person Nichelle holds most dear. It becomes a race to the deadline as Nichelle combines her sleuthing skills with the power of the pen.
I discovered this book series on a whim. Read the first book and then promptly ordered the rest of the series. I really enjoy Nichelle; she is smart and sassy without being a stereo-typical “tough girl.” Her sense of justice is honorable, but I really admire her quest for a good story. Although this series isn’t a hard-core police procedural, there is enough sleuthing and unraveling of details to give the story some real depth. I feel that sometimes the hard-core detective series focus so much on the procedural part that they lose the characterizations.
Nichelle’s personal life has an interesting way of blending into her professional life. Ex-boyfriend Kyle is an FBI agent who thinks he would like to rekindle their past relationship and has a very strong sense of right and wrong. Kyle follows the law to the letter and Nichelle sometimes likes to divert from that straight and narrow path. Perfect example is Nichelle’s “friend” Joey. She isn’t sure exactly what Joey does for living but there is a hint of some dubious, possible mob-related, connections. Nichelle doesn’t even know Joey’s last name, but their relationship is sound at the moment. I love to watch the building cat-and-mouse game between Kyle and Joey; their conflict promises to come to a head in future books.
Who might like this book:
I am a huge fan of Ellen Byerrum’s Crimes of Fashion series; her protagonist is a fashion reporter for a DC newspaper who seems to get herself embroiled in finding the facts for crime stories. The Headlines in High Heels series has more of a universal appeal as the protagonist is a straight news reporter but both are very enjoyable.
It is also very interesting to see the contrast between print and internet media and television media. Nichelle has a love-hate relationship with a local news reporter and it is fascinating to see how the different media sources get their information to the public.
I really enjoy this series; it has engaging plots, relatable and likeable characters, and quirky, yet real-life based plotlines. Of course, read the series in order!
1 – Front Page Fatality
2 – Buried Leads
3 – Small Town Spin
4 – Devil in the Deadline
5 – Cover Shot
6 – Lethal Lifestyles (released Fall 2016)