On her website, author Joanne Pence says, " I hope you'll enjoy my stories." That sentiment is worth noting. because nowadays, many mystery writers don't seem to share that hope. Instead, their writing seems to be saying. "l hope you'll find my stories disgusting, shocking, and far-fetched." Not so Ms. Pence. Her stories, and in this instance, One O'Clock Hustle, feel real and worth spending your time reading.
First of all, the settings are seem real—even to a former resident of San Francisco. The tale itself seems perfectly plausible—no need for unlikely serial killers who dine on the body parts of their victims. But most of all, Ms. Pence's characters are real and—whether good or bad—sympathetic, with plausible personal problems.
I suspect that most of her readers, like me, will have had personal experience of attraction to a person with whom they have little in common, on the surface. They may even, like the protagonist, Inspector Rebecca Mayfield, experience that attraction to a person who is supposed to be taboo. Readers who've had such experiences will find themselves unable to stop reading about Inspector Mayfield's coping with that very situation—while simultaneously attempting to solve a tangled web of murders.
I love mystery detectives who solve crimes using logic. I particularly love the ones who, in order to solve those crimes, must expand their personal definition of "logic." Inspector Mayfield does just that, and I love her for it. You will, too.