It's a mystery, It's chick-lit, it's romance. Jamie Lee Scott's Let Us Prey has it all. Mimi Capurro is the first-person protagonist, a recently widowed thirty-something who has started Gotcha Detective Agency in Salinas, California. Her employees are a good mix of characters—believable and well drawn. All the characters are nicely crafted, including author Lauren Silke, who hires Gotcha to investigate possible threats against her. But rather than Lauren, it's that woman's assistant who is gruesomely killed; Mimi's investigation switches focus.
The mystery, who killed Esme Bailey, has many suspects; many of them are male, to whom Mimi responds with varying levels of libido. Police procedure comes into play, with the assistance of one of Mimi's college sweethearts, Nick Christianson (go hormones, go!). Nick is a police detective with the Salinas PD. They perform the Attract-and-Aggravate Romance dance as they step on each other's toes during the investigation. This is nicely handled.
I had worried at first that the vampire aspect would take over the story; it didn't. Vampire books are what Lauren Silke writes, and many of the suspects participate in a vampire RPG. I did have a problem with a few plot elements, especially why threats and aggression were directed at Mimi? Although I had a good sense of Mimi's fear and anger, the reason she was a target wasn't adequately explained for me. I truly appreciated that all the scenes had a point and related in some way to the mystery&mdsh;nothing seemed thrown in only for the sake of drama, romance or hype. Scott's Let Us Prey is a fun, well-written read, and a good beginning to a new mystery series.On a scale of 5: +3 for originality, +5 character development, +4 pace and story flow; +3 edits and format