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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Death on the Strip by J.S. Peck is the first book in the Death Card series. Rosalie is living her best life. She has a thriving job writing for Women Living Well magazine and tells fortunes on the side. Her latest client Melissa quickly becomes a friend but the death card Rosalie draws gives her some concern. She tells herself it's representing Melissa starting her new job at PUP but when Melissa's murdered, Rosalie can't just let it go. So she goes undercover at the Purple Passion Lounge where Melissa also worked, meets a few PUP employees, and even makes a surprising new ally, but can she find the killer before anyone else turns up dead.
Rosalie going undercover to investigate Purple Passion Lounge and the Uber-like company of PUP adds some fun sleuthing moments as she makes friends and pokes into some shady business. Her snooping isn't the only thing to pull her into the middle of danger but also a mysterious package Melissa left for her. This draws her into danger and adds to her drive to find answers. She has some tragedy in her past that stays with her and impacts how she views certain aspects of the case. Her dead grandma is around to give advice or warnings, though she's primarily a pesky presence. Despite her ghostly status, the love and connection are still clearly felt between grandmother and granddaughter as Rosalie counts on her presence to show up in her life.
J.S. Peck sets up the murder from the beginning by an ominous foreshadowing of the death card which gives Rosalie a nagging fear she tries to push away. Rosalie's a strong personality and a little scrappy, making her the ideal sleuth fit for the Las Vegas setting where the mystery is a little darker. The mystery is full of twists and turns with a little humorous undercover work and some grittier moments befitting the Vegas setting. Peck packs plenty of surprises in Death on the Strip and weaves fun psychic flair into a complex mystery that takes a strong-willed sleuth undercover for a brilliant adventure!