Finding Sky introduces Nicki Valentine, a young widow with two kids, who is training to be a P.I. We did meet a Mom P.I earlier in On the Nickel. Finding Sky is emotional and fun filled, and it leads you on a nice chase.
Nicki is a vegetarian and is raising her kids to be vegetarian, a very bold move from the author as far as characterization goes. She lives in a small DC suburb, across from her best friend from school, Kenna. Kenna has been having fertility issues and is in line for adoption. Beth is the young teen whose baby Kenna will be adopting soon. Beth goes missing leaving Kenna frantic, and she ropes in Nicki to find Beth. Nicki in turn solicits the help of her P.I instructor, and the hunt is on.
Nicki visits Beth’s family and her best friend. Her inquiries get into dangerous territory and she finds herself in the midst of a gang rivalry. She manages to find out who the father of Beth’s child was, and follows him around. Beth’s parents are also under Nicki’s radar, and she juggles play dates and fashion disasters and emotional breakdowns as she tries to find the missing girl.
Although Nicki lives in the DC suburbs, there is hardly any mention of local landmarks or mainstays of the Northern Virginia area. Even the dreaded I-95 is never mentioned. Perhaps the only big reference to being around DC is that West Virginia is an hour’s drive. Nicki’s mother steps in when needed and plays the doting grandma.
Nicki Valentine joins the long line of women sleuths who are making their mark with the self publishing revolution. She is slightly different because she is raising two young kids singlehandedly, and she is a widow. She makes a point of mentioning that because she wants to differentiate herself from a single mother or divorced mom. Her house is almost always in a disarray, and her dating life non existent. Unless you count a certain hot P.I.
Finding Sky sets the series off to a good start. There is lots of action here, and not much time for contemplation. Mystery lovers have another new character to fall in love with!