California Schemin’ by Kate George is a follow-up to her début novel, Moonlighting in Vermont. The main character of both novels, Bree MacGowan, has a knack for getting herself in trouble. In the first novel, she finds her boss dead and becomes the prime suspect in the murder investigation. In California Schemin’ we find Bree in California with her boyfriend Beau. He is working, she should be taking a break after all the drama back home. Instead, she witnesses the body of a woman being thrown off a bridge and into a river. Since Bree had been taking photos of the area at the time, she becomes a target for the killers who think she may have seen or photographed something incriminating.
So begins an adventure that is at turns anxiety-inducing, and at others very funny. The characters are well-drawn and interesting. You like Bree, there are “bad guys” who are definitely unlikable, and there are characters who keep you guessing. The story is compelling, although not overly complicated, and makes you want to keep reading. The only reason I didn’t read this book in a single day is that I received an advanced copy in PDF format and was tied to the computer when I wanted to read it. It is a quick read, and similar in style to writing by Janet Evanovich. I very much enjoyed reading it, and can recommend it to anyone looking for a light-weight crime drama.
I actually had not read the first book, but had no trouble catching on to what little I needed to know from the first book. Even if this is your first experience with Kate George’s writing, you won’t be lost. I do, however, plan to catch up on what I missed by reading Moonlighting in Vermont as soon as I can.