Review: That Old Flame of Mine by J. J. Cook

Description (from cover):

‘Set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, J. J. Cook’s thrilling new mystery series features Fire Chief Stella Griffin, who solves crime with the help of her predecessor, who just happens to be a ghost…


After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small town’s fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson and foul play.

As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely source–the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief. And if that isn’t enough to rattle her, attractive police officer John Trump seems to have taken an interest in her. But Stella’s got to stay focused if she hopes to smoke out a killer before her own life is extinguished.’

My thoughts:

Here lately I haven’t been all that much impressed with some of the debuts of new cozy mystery series. I not really sure why, but I guess I just didn’t click with the characters or there was something that irritated me. However, this book was breath of fresh air. It is about a subject I know very little about, fire fighting, and it was an very interesting read that I couldn’t put down. I really liked the characters and the small cozy setting and the mystery was engaging. I did figure out who the murderer was, but it was right before the revelation, so it wasn’t like I was reading the whole book knowing the secret. I think J. J. Cook has a hit series on her hands and I appreciate the diversity that this book sets in the cozy mystery genre.

I live in North Carolina, which isn’t all that far from the supposed locale for this book. It creates a scene that reminds me of where I grew up and where I come from and I really appreciated that. J. J. Cook has a way of making something that seems so common-place seem so intriguing. Who would have thought that I would be interesting in a book about firefighting? Stella Griffin is the temporary fire chief for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee and must use her firefighting skills when one of her friends turns up dead inside a burning house. At first, it looks like Tory died from smoke inhalation from the fire, but when the medical examiner states the cause of death was an insulin overdose, Sweet Pepper has a murder on its hands. Stella must use her investigation skills and her sharp wit to find out who killed her friend and what it has to do with an age old mystery before she becomes the next victim.

I thought that this was a great debut and it is most definitely something that I will be keeping my eye on. I like my cozy mysteries to have a little something extra in them and this one was entertaining with a ghost. For some reason, I really enjoy cozies with ghosts in them or with the a hint of the paranormal. I am impressed with Cook’s writing and I hope some of you will discover this cute little gem of a mystery. Can’t wait until the next one is released. Please don’t make me wait a year.

Overall Rating: 5

Title:  That Old Flame of Mine
Author:  J. J. Cook
Series:  Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery #1
Publisher:  Berkley
Publication Date:  April 2, 2013
Pages:  304
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Cozy Mystery Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

2 thoughts on “Review: That Old Flame of Mine by J. J. Cook

  1. I too like cozies with a hint (or more) of the paranormal. I'll have to check out this series. I've read a few by the author, 1 I absolutely adored, 1 I didn't like at all.


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