Going undercover is second nature for Private Investigator Lola Cruz, but she’s out of her league when the case of a murdered Royals Courtside Dancer leads her to a local nudist resort. Parading around the sidelines of Sacramento’s professional basketball scene in a barely-there cheerleading outfit is one thing—but parading around in nothing but smile? If she has any chance of hiding this from her traditional family and on-again/off-again boyfriend Jack, she’s going to have a lot more than her duct tape bra and killer dance moves to keep under wraps…
I do so love a good mystery.
Especially when it’s being solved by a spunk female PI.
“Bare Naked Lola” is the third book in the “Lola Cruz” series. While part of me feels bereft for not having read the first two books in the series, I can confidently tell you that if this is your first Lola book, you will not be lost. Oh sure, there will be brief “huh?” moments, but you pick things up quickly. That being said, I’m still going to check out the prequels, because, again, I enjoy me a good mystery and Melissa Bourbon Ramirez does know how to whip up one hell of a good mystery. It’s left me hungry for more Lola Cruz…
And Mexican food. No, but seriously… Lola balances PI work and working at the family Mexican restaurant, so do not read this book if you love Mexican food and you’re hungry. Or on a diet.
I enjoyed the romance angle, which is where picking things up in book three really worked in my favor. You don’t have to deal with all that precursory “I want him but he’s with someone else” nonsense. Instead, you get the “will we or won’t we?” and “should I?” Ok, so it’s not that much better, but with a possible resolution you’re not left going “OH FOR GOD’S SAKE WILL YOU BOTH TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF ALREADY?” only to be shut down. I will warn you that if you’re just picking up the series here, you’re probably going to think Jack is smarmy, but he’s really a good guy. No honestly, I know these things about fictional characters. Me and Jack are tight now, and he’s all about Lola.
The mystery was excellent. I spent the entire book going “WHO THE EFFE IS IT?” Not in the sense that the author didn’t give you enough, but in the sense that she’s keeping you on your toes, and that minor details are more important than you think. Before the bad guy was revealed I was starting to make up crazy accusations… like maybe Lola did it and just didn’t remember.
That’s not to say it didn’t have faults. Ok, one fault, and it was pretty small. Well, less of a fault and more of a pet peeve. Lola slips into Spanish, a lot. It triggers this minor feeling of inferiority I have because I have no other languages tucked under my belt. I know one word of Spanish, and that word is bathroom. That’s it. I’d be awesome in Mexico. Still, since Lola is a spicy little Latina PI, I cut her some slack.
4 stars. Not too long ago I was looking for a good non-paranormal mystery series spunky female detective with a romantic angle (while not being a huge sloot). The Lola Cruz series seems more than happy to fit that bill.
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