Knight Blind - Published October 2020
Reviewed 27 October 2020 "Knight Blind" introduces us to the Private Investigator Jorja Knight (there's also a free prequel if you sign up on the Author's website). The story takes place in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Here, Jorja has only been working the PI business for a little while, and she's trying to build up her clientele and her reputation after leaving her previous career as a forensic analyst.
She takes a case from a family friend's friend, with the aim of locating the woman's only remaining relative, a nephew she was separated from during WWII in a concentration camp. That's just where the mystery starts. For every answer she finds, several more questions pop up and lead her into increasingly exciting and complex mysteries. Very engaging and entertaining plot with a ton of depth, and the mystery is expertly crafted. I found the cast of characters in this book to be richly rendered and three-dimensional.
The thing about Jorja that makes her unique for me is that she's so realistic and relatable. She's a real person, with real struggles. The fact that she's just starting out in her PI business is a big part of her characterization and it works really well for me because I feel like I'm growing and learning with her throughout the book. She has a strong character arc, and all the lessons she learns she takes forward with her--and there are a lot of lessons to be learned as a new PI.
As a character, she's intelligent and sympathetic, easy to root for, and starts to feel like a friend. No magic powers or super strength, no ninja abilities, just a realistic modern-day woman making an exciting career change and trying to do the right things even when there aren't always simple choices. So many characters I loved in this. And I'm glad it's a series, because it was the kind of book I wanted to last and this way I can stay with the characters longer.
If you love cozy mysteries, soft-boiled PI fiction, and mysteries in general with a female protagonist who is strong but realistic/relatable, you will enjoy this one.
(Side note/full disclosure: I'm totally biased because I helped with this book's production, but I also only give honest reviews and I really loved this book--if you check it out, I hope you'll love it too!)
Reviewed 17 October 2020 A beautifully written, intriguing story of a woman, Jorja, trying to come to terms with her own shattered past while trying to make her new PI business a success. A new case has her helping a woman put together the pieces of a broken family, forcing her to face her own fear of the past. The characters are interesting and tug at the reader's heart. The scenes are filled with tension as Jorja finds her way, encountering unexpected danger and making unlikely friends.
Reviewed 15 October 2020 Alice Biena has created an engaging and relatable protagonist. A female private investigator with smarts and empathy! Knight Blind is an enjoyable read taking us through the streets of Calgary with many twists and turns to keep you turning pages. I am looking forward to reading about Jorja and her next case!
Reviewed 21 October 2020 How refreshing! A protagonist, female, who actually thinks and doesn’t fall into the damsel in distress mode. This was a very enjoyable crime story read. Living in Calgary, also made it feel more real to me as I could visualize where events were taking place. Thanks to the author for the ARC.
Reviewed 20 October 2020 After the first 2 pages I found it difficult to put the book down. There are many books that I have started, read almost halfway through and have never finished them, but this book, chapter after chapter had you wondering what was going to happen next. Jorja Knight, a detective living on a shoestring budget, had a way of unwittingly finding herself in trouble, stepping from one disaster to another. It's a page turner, trying to find out how she would manage to get herself out of each disaster. I am happy to hear that there's another Jorja Knight mystery coming out soon. Can't wait to see if Jorja's financial situation, love life and investigative abilities have improved.
Reviewed 2 December 2020 On page one I was invested in Jorja’s well being and success. She is a very likeable character with her assets and character flaws on full display.
My real world dissolved as I was fully captivated by all the problems, mysteries and set backs that Jorja had to wrestle with.
A great read and good fun solving a murder.
I look forward to reading the next Jorja Knight crime adventure
Reviewed 23 October 2020 This is fabulous first in a series winner. I could not put it down! The plot is believable and moves at rapid page turning speed. It's serious; it's funny; it's thrilling; it's quirky; it's sexy and it has a whole lot of heart. Jorja Knight is dealing with personal issues that make her vulnerable and most assuredly likable. I love this book and cannot wait for the next Knight adventure!
Reviewed 1 September 2020 In this mystery, a struggling private investigator agrees to help an elderly woman find her estranged nephew and runs into identity theft, dysfunctional rental cars, and murder.
Canadian private investigator Jorja Knight is down on her luck. Work’s thin on the ground and the rent’s due, so when the chance to track down a wealthy client’s relative comes up, she grabs it. Zosia Gorwitz last saw her nephew Stanislav Gorwitz in Poland in 1939, just before she and her mother fled the Axis alliance. Zosia’s grandfather and father were sent to Auschwitz, and her brother died in battle. After visiting the Canadian Holocaust Memorial and seeing the name Stanislav Gorwitz in the registry, though, Zosia became convinced that her nephew immigrated to Vancouver. It’s a long shot, but she wants Jorja to find him and reunite them. Stan, it turns out, died in a shooting, but he had a son, Johnnie, who may still be alive. Jorja traces a man who seems to have the right name and credentials, but it soon becomes clear that he’s not the person she’s looking for. Where is Johnnie, and why is someone else using his identity—and is it related to the reason that Calgary’s vagrants seem to keep disappearing? Along the way, an incident involving an overturned watermelon truck leaves Jorja needing a cheap rental car. This first in a planned mystery series offers a very promising introduction to a likable PI of the traditional world-weary, hand-to-mouth type. Although readers won’t find anything particularly radical here, the novel succeeds through its warmth, its generic familiarity, and its humor. For example, Jorja visits JumpIn Jalopies to get a rental car, where she receives a succession of wrecks whose “special” features include front doors that won’t open, alarms that go off at random times, and a particularly unpleasant smell that threatens to land her in trouble with the police. The mystery itself is tight and well plotted with enough twists and curveballs to keep most crime fans on their toes.
A fine debut by a talented writer, featuring a well-crafted new PI.