Title- Bird of Prey
Series- Sémya Slotin Mystery #1
By- Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre- mystery/suspense/ thriller romance
Length: 52000 words/ 200 pages
Release date: October 7th 2013
18+ adult content
Who killed the infamous Johanna Cartier? Sémya Slotin is thrown back in the business of solving mysteries when she found her body. With the help of her best friend Polliannah Koch, DCI Ally Gibbons and the mysterious but extremely sexy Josh Heinz, she vows to see this through.
This was supposed to be an easy case...
Sémya Slotin had spent the last three years living in London with her best friend Polliannah Koch staying away from solving cases. After Hawaii, she was taking a break from puzzles, cases and mysteries that could potentially get her killed. Instead, she had been doing her second and third favorite things, drinking and selling expensive vintage wines and having earth-shattering sex with the mysterious, sexy, beautiful but ever so secretive Josh Heinz. Life in London was good....until her funds ran out. Too much wine drinking, not enough wine selling!
When fashion designer and adoptive mother, Annika Slotin, summoned her back to Paris to hire her for what Sémya considered being the easiest case of her amateur sleuth career, all she could think of and see was money signs and a well-deserved Cuban holiday once it was solved.
What Sémya didn't see was her stumbling on the fresh corpse of supermodel Johanna Cartier. She didn't think that male model turned fashion designer Julian Marais-Caldwin, who also happened to be Sémya's ex, would be suspected of brutally murdering her. Johanna was his girlfriend, his muse and he loved her. Sémya didn't see the dead bodies piling up or the conspiracy theories.
Sémya was a little rusty. But then again, it was supposed to be an easy case and she was going to solve it. One vintage wine at a time... Sémya Slotin was officially back in business!
“It’s some of my best work,” he smirked back. He had a bottle of Jack Daniels with him and had obviously been drinking some it. Very American of him!
“You’re staring the naked body of your ex-girlfriend every day? That’s sick,” Josh told him. But the photograph was beautiful. He couldn’t believe that Sémya let him do that.
“It’s art. Sémya and I had history; it’s not a big deal,” he shrugged.
“Ten years later and you’re still holding on to this…it’s a big deal,” Josh said. He was ready to take it down when Sémya got in the room.
“What is this? Note comparing time?” Sémya said. She looked at the photograph, “Julian you’re bigger but Josh is better. And I’m not just saying that because you were my first. You were a good lover ten years ago and but Josh is just the best I’ve ever had.”
Wow that wasn’t nice… but Josh couldn’t wipe off the grin on his face.
“What the fuck! Who says shit like this, Sémya?” Julian said back.
“I don’t know…it’s not a big deal, you just have my tits on display for everyone to see. But you couldn’t pick up the phone in three years to call me?” she said matching his tone.
“He’s the best you’ve ever had! That’s a line if I ever heard one,” Julian told her.
Yes, it is…“Hey… don’t talk to her like that. She’s been busting her ass to save yours for weeks!” Josh told him then tried to take the photograph down but Julian stopped him.
“We were good together. It reminds me of how good we were,” he whined. “No one comes here but me and the cleaning lady. And only people who had seen you naked would know that it’s you.” He sat back on his desk. “Really he is better? We had fireworks, Sémya!”
Josh shook his head in disbelief. Is this guy for real?
She chuckled back. “I loved you so much but I was such a foolish girl. I mean I used to write you poetry. But you didn’t love me back. How could you? You didn’t even love yourself back then. But that sure had changed.” Her chuckle turned into a bitter laugh. “What the hell is going on with Eileen? You’re fucking her? She’s barely twenty-five and oh…are you insane?”
“It’s none of your business. Eileen is a great person; I wish I met her before Johanna.” He took out a file and threw it her way. “She gave it to me earlier today,” he slurred.
“You did meet her before, six months before to be exact…Johanna’s medical records, it only took her five days,” she said picking it up.
“Whatever Sémya, I’ll leave you to your new boy toy wonder.” He intentionally bumped into Josh on his way out, his bottle of whisky in his hand. That was that.
“The best, yeah?” he smirked taking her in his arms.
“This isn’t news to you,” she grinned back.
“I know, but it’s nice to hear you say it when we’re fully clothed,” he winked. He kissed her neck and she stiffened. “What’s wrong?”
She was looking at the medical report. “I know who did it,” she said looking up with a raw resolve in her eyes, “I know who killed Johanna Cartier.”
The plot to this book was interesting, a thrilling mystery. Murder and espionage need to be solved, and Semya is the woman to do it.
The problem I had with it is that I couldn't get into the story, nor was I able to connect with any characters. A few scenes seemed to be just thrown in to me, as they didn't seem to really fit with what was happening at the time. Nonetheless, I was still invested in finding out how the mystery would unravel, and had fun trying to solve it myself before the author could tell me the answer.
The story, while it took me a while to get into, did grasp my attention after a while once said mystery really got going, though I was pulled back out during those few previously mentioned scenes. Perhaps it was just the reading mood I was in, as I realize that a lot of people absolutely adored it. It was a good read, not fantastic, but far from being bad.
3.5 Platypires. Since that's not an option, I'll give it an official 4.