More Great Things from Chris Rogers…

May 18, 2013 at 4:36 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )

slice of lifeTitle: Slice of Life

Author: Chris Rogers

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Length: 390 pages

The fourth novel in the Dixie Flannigan series, Slice of Life is actually only the second Chris Rogers book that I’ve read.  I usually keep strict enforcement of the rule that I read a series in order, but I had it on good authority (from the author) that even though each book follows chronologically, the stories stand completely on their own.

Having enjoyed Bitch Factor so much, I took a risk and decided to jump ahead to the book that was sitting there in my hands rather than wait to come across the in between titles.

I’m glad I did.  Rogers was right about her work, each story stands alone quite nicely.  Sure, a lot of things had happened since the first book, but they were briefly alluded to and I didn’t feel like I had missed anything at all.  Nor did I feel like she was retelling a previous story (like some authors do in their flash backs to prequels) when referencing occurrences from the first title.

Rogers has an effortless storytelling style that fits well in the mystery/suspense genre.  She’s a true artist.  And not just in storytelling.  If I remember correctly, when chatting about her books at the signing we had at the Half Price Books Humble store, she paints and designed the picture used in Slice of Life.  The book is set in the Galveston art scene with a bit of gambling and a few dead bodies, so I thought the cover suited the story quite nicely and really shows off the talents of the author.

Even though I have broken the cardinal rule and ‘skipped to the end’ I plan to go back and read the second and third books when I find them.  Rogers has hinted at some interesting history between the characters that I’d like to know in more detail, without giving away any previous tales endings.

DSC03253

Chris Rogers at Half Price Books Humble

 

 

 

Permalink 2 Comments

Bitch Factor

April 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

bitch factorTitle:Bitch Factor

Author: Chris Rogers

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Publisher: Bantam

Length: 293 page

To be honest, I probably wouldn’t normally pick a up a book called ‘Bitch Factor’ or even a book with bitch in the title.  I’m not morally opposed or anything, it’s just generally not my cup of tea.  Past my middle school years (when I was completely enthralled with all things John Grisham), I haven’t really been into many mysteries out side of cozy foodie/bookshop/coffeehouse kinds or the kind that aren’t always shelved in mystery like Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Kate Morton… literary awesomeness built in mysterious layers.

To be fair, Chris Rogers sucked me in with the cover of Slice of Life and her sparkling personality.  She is a fantastic lady, and I really enjoyed talking with her at the latest Half Price Books Humble book signing.  Getting a copy of Slice of Life made me a little leery, it’s a ways into the Dixie Flannigan series, and last time I did that was the Elizabeth George review for Believing the Lie and I felt like a fish out of water.  So I began Bitch Factor, the first of the series.

I DEVOURED IT.

I’ll put that in regular font so it’s easier to quote, if anyone is feeling quotey: Chris Rogers’ storytelling is so riveting that when I read her book, I devoured it.

Dixie Flannigan is a bad ass.  She’s a believable bad ass.  As a female black belt Kung Fu instructor, I get a little frustrated with women who think they can handle more than they can.  Be confident.  Be awesome.  Stay fit, stay trained.  But sometimes you have to acknowledge the fact that at 120 pounds and five feet tall, there are some limitations you may face when dealing with 180-200 pound men – like size and strength.  In those situations, you have to think your way through.  You have to be careful, aware, and plan in numerous contingencies.  Dixie Flannigan is awesome because, for once, she does just that… without whining.  Whiny, helpless heroines are worse than over confident unrealistic ones.  Dixie is perfectly balanced.

Rogers took a story of a female bounty hunter, inspired by a chat she had with a taxi cab driver, and ran with it.  Often compared to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, there are two things about Chris Rogers and Dixie Flannigan you should know: 1. Dixie actually knows what she’s doing, where (at least in the first installment) Plum seems to flail around until something happens. 2. Rogers’ writing isn’t tainted by a history of writing romance novels, it’s higher quality work.  Oh, and, now I shall add a third… I have nothing against Evanovich or Stephanie Plum, I’m just deeply surprised it’s the more popular series right now.

On top of that, Dixie Flannigan (like her creator) is from the Houston area.  It’s so refreshing to have someone write Houston well.  Dixie Flannigan isn’t just kick ass, she’s kick ass from my home town.  She pops in and out of Spring Branch, she visits The Heights, she drives down 59.  The familiarity of it all is a lovely break from all the many, many mysteries set in Detroit,  New York City, and Chicago… places I’ve never been.  Even if you don’t read mysteries, if you’re from Texas – this book is for you.

I have it on good authority that you don’t have to read these stories in order, so I plan to skip onto Slice of Life since it’s sitting on my nightstand (that’s typically a cardinal sin in my house).  I do plan to collect and read the whole series though, it’s too fantastic not to.

DSC03254

Permalink Leave a Comment