The Hunt by Jennifer Sturman

7131270This is the last in the series of Rachel Benjamin mysteries and I think it ends in a good place. Also, as a completist, I’m happy that I’m done with the series because I’ve had it with Rachel and her “man problems.” The actual mysteries are fine, but her relationship drama is ridiculous.

This last novel takes place in San Francisco, but except for dropping some tourist attractions (and the horrible misuse of “the” in front of freeway names – I see you Southern California editors!), it feels like it could be set anywhere. Of course, it’s set in San Francisco because our mystery involves a Silicon Valley nerd on the verge of becoming a billionaire with his privacy software. He’s a totally weirdo and Rachel’s friend Hillary is totally going to write an article about him. But then Hillary disappears! Did Iggie kill her? Maybe her hot FBI boyfriend that she broke up with the night before she went missing? Is she even dead? Rachel takes the usual twists and turns to get to the answers and save the day.
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The Key by Jennifer Sturman

715858This is the next installment in the Rachel Benjamin mystery series and this one ramps up the action by having Rachel be suspected of the murder this time.

Rachel’s new boss is a jackass with a capital ASS and she spends most of the first few chapters wishing him dead out loud. I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t jokingly wished someone dead, but Rachel (and her co-workers, dreamy Jake and plain Mark) just go WAY WAY over the top with the references. Even if the back cover didn’t explicitly mention that Rachel’s going to be prime suspect #1, it’s just SO anvil-y that I actually said “oh COME ON!” out loud while reading.

Rachel on the lam is mildly amusing, though her complete ignorance that a) State College, PA is a place that exists and b) it’s the home to Penn State University is a little ridiculous. I mean, I know New Yorkers are notoriously self-centered about geography, but I was pretty sure that Rachel wasn’t even a born and bred New Yorker, so there’s really no excuse.

There’s also some annoying relationship drama (Rachel has one fight with Dreamy Fiance Peter and decides that she should just let him find someone else. Eye roll.), but of course, it all works out fine in the end. I do hope Rachel starts to appreciate all Dream Fiance Peter did for her in this book when I get to the next book, but I’m not holding my breath.

The Jinx by Jennifer Sturman

581826The next book in Jennifer Sturman’s Rachel Benjamin saga is another quick read with enough mystery and plot twists to keep things interesting. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s still fun.

Rachel doesn’t seem to see how she’s quickly becoming Angela Fletcher (and since there are two more books, I can guess this only gets worse). This time she’s at Harvard and Boston (and she’s quite clear to make sure we know those are VERY different places) for recruiting the next generation of high finance professionals (I still have no idea what Rachel really does for a living) and her dishy boyfriend, Peter, is going to join her (he’s got a conference). Rachel always thinks that she “jinxes” relationships by worrying too much (or whatever), but this time everything is perfect. Well, except for the fact that her boyfriend happened to hire a woman to co-run his business and she’s….attractive! Oh and someone’s trying to kill one of her clients.
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The Pact by Jennifer Sturman

56036This was such a quick, fun read! I’m not usually one for mysteries (note to Mom: you’d love this series if you haven’t read it already), but this had just enough chick lit elements to keep me interested and for once, I didn’t figure out whodunit in the second act.

Rachel Benjamin is part of a group of girls who went to Harvard (yeah, there’s A LOT of Harvard talk in here) who are attending their friend Emma’s wedding to odious man. No one seems to know why she’s marrying him and when he turns up dead on the day of the wedding, no one is too torn up about it. But when Rachel finds out he was murdered, she starts trying to figure out which one of the dozen people who stayed at the house the night before could have done it. No one wants to think their friend is a murderer, but there’s a dead guy in the pool and he didn’t get that way by accident.

The red herrings are earned and not annoying and beyond the discussions of ridiculous privilege of everyone (seriously, EVERYONE is a Richie Rich), the characters are fun to read about. I’ve already ordered the next one in the series from the library and I can’t wait to dig in.