Author: Stella Bixby
Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5 stars
Where I got it: ARC from Netgalley
Rylie’s life has hit a serious snag. Cheated on, lied to, and suddenly homeless and unemployed, her entire world has capsized. All that’s left to do is cut line, start over, and move into her parents’ basement . . . temporarily.
Bring on the boomerang jokes.
The perfect solution to all of her problems could be a job as an urban park ranger⎯whatever that is. But finding a dead body stuck in a catfish trap on her first shift leaves her wondering if she’s waded in a little too deep.
If it wasn’t for the appearance of Luke Hannah⎯the lead investigator on the case and her first love⎯she may have cut her losses and returned to the help wanted ads. But now Rylie is determined to prove herself . . . in more ways than one.
When the authorities pin the murder on the wrong man, Rylie casts out to catch the real killer and clear the innocent man’s name⎯at the risk of losing her job or even becoming catfish bait herself.
Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, Catfished, the first book in the Rylie Cooper Mystery series, is a witty murder mystery baited with snarky humor and a hint of romance.
I received an ARC of this book for an honest review.
I often make the mistake of reading the reviews on goodreads before reading a book, and the reviews for this book are generally not good. It has a goodreads rating of 3.24. I generally won’t read a book unless it has a 3.75 rating or higher, but since I requested this book, I felt I had to give it a try.
Riley Cooper is a woman in her late 20’s who has moved back home with her parents because she’s discovered her boyfriend was cheating on her. She gets a job as a summer park ranger, thanks to her being a firefighter (not sure what one has to do with the other). It’s a pretty male dominated group of rangers, with the Rylie and two other females (3 out of 17 rangers were women).
Someone has been setting traps to catch catfish, and a local fisherman named Ronnie has caught himself a record catfish. People aren’t happy that this has happened, and Ronnie ends up dead (yes, because he caught a large catfish – huh?). Rylie and her supervisor Ben find the body in one of the traps. Rylie’s first love, Luke Hannah, is the detective called to the scene to find the killer.
There are so many issues with this book, I don’t even know where to start. First and foremost, I was BORED. This book is about finding the killer of a fisherman. A fisherman who was killed because he caught a big fish. It’s just so stupid.
The second big issue is the fact that the men Rylie work with treat her like she’s a piece of meat. Her married co-worker Antonio hits on her relentlessly. She’s constantly winked at. It’s creepy.
Third, the mystery was so poorly written. By the time the killer was revealed, I’d completely lost interest in the story. I didn’t care who it was, mainly because the killer murdered a man over a fish.
Fourth, there was no closure with Rylie and Luke. There was a lot of tip-toeing around their “will they/won’t they” but no closure. There was also no epilogue, and I know there will be another book, but I have zero interest in reading it, so I’m checking out.
Overall, the story was just not at all believable. Luke and Rylie also had zero chemistry, and despite the fact that it creeped her out that Antonio hit on her, she found him attractive (again, huh?)
This is not a good book. I would not recommend it.