Book Review | Finding Sky

Finding Sky by Susan O'BrienMy Thoughts in a Nutshell

Finding Sky is filled with wit, humor and intrigue. If you’re a fan of light-hearted mysteries with a fabulous heroine and lots of laughs, add this to your must reads!

The Details

Finding Sky (A Nicki Valentine Mystery) by Susan O’Brien

Publication Date: October 7, 2014 by Henry Press

Kindle Edition: 276 pages

What’s the Story?

She’s a parent. She’s (almost) a P.I. No one gets on your case like mom.

Suburban widow and P.I. in training Nicki Valentine can barely keep track of her two kids, never mind anyone else. But when her best friend’s adoption plan is jeopardized by the young birth mother’s disappearance, Nicki is persuaded to help. Nearly everyone else believes the teenager ran away, but Nicki trusts her BFF’s judgment, and the feeling is mutual.

The case leads where few moms go (teen parties, gang shootings) and places they can’t avoid (preschool parties, OB-GYNs’ offices). Nicki has everything to lose and much to gain — including the attention of her unnervingly hot P.I. instructor. Thankfully, Nicki is armed with her pesky conscience, occasional babysitters, a fully stocked minivan, and nature’s best defense system: women’s intuition.

My Review

Nicki Valentine is a disorganized, overprotective 36-year-old single mother living in suburban Washington D.C. with her two young children Sophie and Jack. She’s a picky vegetarian, though she’s not one to care what you eat in front of her and she doesn’t push her eating habits on anyone but her own kids. Her children are the greatest joys in her life, but she’s lucky that her mother lives close enough to watch them when she needs some time to herself. Her mother has a way of knowing what Nicki needs and when and never minds babysitting the kids.

Although her husband died 4 years ago, it’s still difficult for Nicki to acknowledge that she’s a widow and even harder for her to admit that she was blind to her husband Jason’s infidelity until he wound up dead in a boating accident with his mistress. Even her best friend of 25 years Kenna and her husband Andy hadn’t an inkling that Nicki’s husband was cheating on her. It’s inspiring how different these two best friends are, yet how strong their friendship has grown over the years. Kenna is a fitness instructor while Nicki is basically allergic to working out. Nicki is tech-savvy, while Kenna barely knows how to turn a laptop on. Nicki has two beautiful children that are the love of her life while Kenna realizes that she’s never going to be able to get pregnant and have her own children. It’s all fun and games until something major happens in Kenna’s life.

When Kenna confides in Nicki that Beth is missing – the teenage mother of the baby Kenna is in the works of adopting once it’s born – Nicki steps in to help find the supposedly runaway teen. The girls parents don’t seem fazed by Beth’s disappearance and claim that she’s run away from home twice before, so this time would be no different. Kenna is convinced that there’s more to the story and that Beth needs help. Now that Nicki is faced with trying to find a pregnant teen, she has to draw upon some of the skills that she’s learned in her Private Investigator classes.

Nicki is a bundle of nervous energy and tends to think of the worst-case scenario while dealing with new situations. It’s amazing that she was ever interested in studying to become a P.I, though she hit the jackpot with a totally gorgeous instructor at the Academy named Dean.  Whenever she talks to or sees Dean, she gets nervous butterflies in her stomach to the point where it’s a wonder she can even function with him around. Nicki has to learn to control her feelings for Dean, and fast, because he’s offered to help her try to find the runaway teen.

Since I don’t normally read mysteries, this was a new type of read for me. It was fun to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, to think about what happened to Beth and  try to figure out what the real story is behind her disappearance. I loved Nicki’s hilarious thought process while faced with despair and loved that O’Brien could make me laugh while reading about a self-conscious character in some sticky situations. Nicki Valentine’s character is written in such a way that I felt transported into the story, almost as if I were a neighbor and knew her life story and situation personally.

Susan O’Brien’s Nicki Valentine Mysteries are filled with the same type of wit, humor and intrigue that fans of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels will love. If you’re a fan of light-hearted mysteries with a fabulous heroine and lots of laughs, add this, and any others that she writes in the future to your must reads!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Press for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review!


About the Author

Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Susan O’Brien

Author Bio from Goodreads:

Susan O’Brien has been passionate about reading and writing since childhood, when she started a neighborhood newspaper and escaped tween stress with mysteries. Since covering her first big story (the birth of gerbils next door), she has worked with USA TODAY, PI Magazine and others. Susan has an M.A. in forensic psychology and is a registered private investigator in Virginia. Among her diverse interests are photography, gardening, loud R&B music, healing prayer and reality TV. She lives with her husband and children in the D.C. suburbs and donates part of her earnings to missing children’s organizations.


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