Review: The Scent of Murder (Jazz Ramsey #1) by Kylie Logan

Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (May 7, 2019)

From The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

I feel like the synopsis of this book is deliberately misleading in order to entice people to read it. So let me sort through the two main points that I had an issue with to keep other people from going into this story unprepared. 

TRUE. Jazz is a cadaver dog handler. In fact the story opens with (as promised) her putting a dog in training through his paces. However, this dog (and the mentions of her prior dog) are merely background noise. Used when handy to explain how she finds a body, used to explain why her relationship with her ex failed. Used now and then as filler for the story, and then forgotten.

FALSE. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case. Sure, she finds the body. And yes, it was a former student in the school where she works as an administrative assistant. But absolutely no one told Jazz to start poking her nose into a police investigation. And that is exactly what she does. She does around questioning people, questioning potential suspects, and all the while withholding this information from the actual police. Even when she seemingly finds information that could lead to who the killer is, she still keeps it to herself. 

And therein lies my biggest issue with this story. Had she been a police officer herself? This story would have been much better. Everything else could have stayed the same. She could have known the victim through her friend (who was an art teacher at the same school). She could have dated the lead investigator privately. Heck she could have even trained cadaver dogs. But at the end of the day there is no reason she should have been running around interviewing people (and potential suspects at that) just because she wanted closure. It simply doesn't work like that. And not only should the people she was questioning refused to talk to her, but she should have been arrested for interfering with a police investigation. I will say the twist at the end was enjoyable, but even that couldn't overshadow the rest.

Overall, as capable as this writer may be, I doubt very much I will be continuing on with this series, however I may give this author another shot.

DISCLAIMERI received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                    Scent of Murder is available from

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