Murder Bytes by author Gayle Carline
Thank you very much to publicist Paula Margulies for providing me with a copy of Murder Bytes in exchange for an honest review.
Murder Bytes is the fifth installment in the Peri Minneopa mystery series. I have not read the first four books and I do not think it is necessary to fully grasp this one. It stands fairly well on its own.
Peri Minneopa is a semi retired private investigator who sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong. Like most PIs seem to do in most media that they are depicted.
I want to get something out there into the world for everyone to understand. Most PIs are hired to investigate insurance claims. They aim to catch people faking disability or trying to flee their responsibilities in one way or another.
They may occasionally be hired by some rich paranoid to spy on their potentially cheating spouse but almost never will they be hired to investigate murders. That’s what detectives are for and there are laws preventing anyone who isn’t an actual police detective from just waltzing onto a crime scene and tampering with evidence.
PIs are frequently romanticized as being able to work outside of the rules (aka laws) in order to get the job done right but in reality they’d be arrested for obstruction of justice. Peri Minneopa breaks many laws in this book. Including obstruction of justice, trespassing, breaking and entering, theft, and many others in that same vein.
She’s engaged to a real police detective who is constantly telling her to stay out of these situations and above all else try to not get shot at again but she doesn’t play by his rules either.
In addition to not following laws she’s generally insufferable to most people she encounters. I started calling her Karen Boomer PI.
There are many examples of her being both a Karen and a Boomer but I’ll simply supply one of each to keep it brief.
As a Karen she’s a total bitch to anyone in an entry level position. Apparently a secretary is incapable of even the simplest tasks and deserves to be humiliated and the reader is supposed to find it cheeky.
She encounters the woman at the front desk of the police station where she happens to have a personal relationship with the chief of police. The woman at the desk tells Peri that she can’t just barge into the chief’s office without an appointment. A very reasonable statement and one that it is her job to make.
Peri finds this unacceptable and calls the chief to let her in. Nevermind that maybe the chief might actually be busy. But he lets her in and Peri makes sure to fan the stench of her smugness all over the poor woman who was competently performing the tasks to which she had been assigned. And then does it over and over again every time she sees her. Like a total Karen.
As a Boomer Peri mocks anyone younger than her. There is a particularly cringeworthy scene toward the end in which she makes fun of a young police officer who is apparently struggling to use his hands to hold a pen and hand write something. Hahahaha get it, cause us youngsters are so used to the tweeting instead of the letter writing!
As a person whose hobbies include making memes for reddit I’d be offended if it wasn’t so laughably stereotypical.
To summarize, I didn’t much care for miss Karen Boomer PI and her antics. She spends the whole book complaining about how building her dream home is such an inconvenience to her when she isn’t taking advantage of her currently unpaid autistic assistant.
Here’s the deal, if you’re an older white woman who likes PG rated murder mysteries. This book is for you. It’s competently written enough and the story flows well. It’s simple and predictable but it’s the kind of book that’s perfect for an airplane or beach. Honestly, I chewed through it in under 3 days. The chapters are short and keep you going.
I am just certainly not the demographic for this book and I need everyone to know that you should be kind to people in all positions. Don’t treat secretaries like they aren’t people just because they’re young and haven’t had a full career yet.
Also, it’s okay to just retire. You don’t need to keep demanding to speak to the manager of convoluted murder frame ups.
2/5 white women of a certain age 👱🏻♀️👱🏻♀️
For a much much better lady detective story check out Lost Touch.
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Buy it here: Murder Bytes (Peri Minneopa Mysteries Book 5)
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