Title: The Scent of Murder
Series: Jazz Ramsey #1
Author: Kylie Logan
Format: Hardcover/eBook, 315 pages
Publication: May 7th 2019 by Minotaur Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon |B&N
Rating: 2 out of 5 Wine Glasses
First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.
The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.
Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.
She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.
The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.
People stumbled over their words. They blundered when it came to their feelings. Dogs always knew what to do. She could always count on a dog.
Jazz is an administrative assistant at an all girl's Catholic High School and trains cadaver dogs on the side. When helping to train a friend's dog, they actually end up finding a real human body. When Jazz realizes that she knew the girl murdered, she sets out to find who could have possibly done this.
This is first in a series that doesn't have a cliffhanger ending but will obviously continue following our central character Jazz. The story is told from her point of view and we are introduced to her detective ex-boyfriend Nick, along with her colleague best-friend, brothers, fellow cadaver dog handlers, and mother. Jazz's father died in a fire a year ago, she's dealing with the grief, along with the loss of her dog Manny, and lingering attraction to Nick.
Even with Jazz vaguely remembering Flori (the murder victim) from her going to the school Jazz works at, it seemed a bit of a stretch as to why she was going around trying to conduct her own investigation. There were even a couple of times that she tampered or withheld evidence that could have ruined Nick's investigation. The murder mystery itself threw out enough red-herrings to be interesting but some misleads ended up feeling very contrived.
“Damn.” One corner of his mouth thinned and he shook his head and followed her up the stairs. “Come on, Jazz. What we had, was it that bad?”
When she turned the key and shoved the door open, her smile was hard-edged. “ Even after all this time, you haven’t figured it out yet, have you? And I thought you were a smart guy. Don’t you get it, Nick? It wasn’t that bad. It was that good.”
The romance takes a big backseat to Jazz trying to figure out who killed Flori, Nick only appears a handful of times. We don't get any flashbacks to when they were in a relationship, it's discussed how it ended because of how their schedules never worked out. The author leaves some hope for them to get together again and the relationship will obviously be progressed further in the next book. There is some background given on Nick but his character isn't really felt, I never felt like I knew him. With this being all from Jazz's point of view, she obviously dominates and for the most part was a strong enough character to control the story, her motivations were sometimes a bit weak.
Jazz's involvement in trying to catch Flori's murderer was somewhat shaky but the mystery was stirring enough to keep me reading. The romance between her and Nick was extremely anemic and more of a tease to lead you to read the next to see if they can make time for each other. Jazz's world was sketched out enough to set a solid foundation for the series, I would have liked even more of her side job with working with cadaver dogs. This was a fair starter book to a series, hoping the next in the series colors in the sketching.