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All the Wrong Moves by Merline Lovelace

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Cover art: All the Wrong Moves Reviewer: Jillean Key
Title: All the Wrong Moves - 1st in the Samantha Spade Mystery series
Author: Merline Lovelace
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-23118-0
Release Date: November 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy/Paranormal Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Dry Springs, TX
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Moderate
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Merline's Website/Blog: www.merlinelovelace.com


Samantha Spade is a USAF Lieutenant assigned to a special group that tests new projects for the military. A new robot has been sent to her group to test. With this robot, they are able to put it on and are have a robotís strength, speed and vision capabilities. Samantha decides to do a test run and stumbles over two dead bodies near the test facility. Being close to the US-Mexico border, she has to call border patrol to come identify the bodies.

She learns from Border Patrol Agent Jeff "Mitch" Mitchell that one of the bodies belongs to a very wanted man. This man is a former US soldier-turned-arms dealer whose death may have been part of a huge cover-up. Sam and Mitch team up together to unravel the mystery, but they realize that the mystery is bigger than they thought when Samís lab is set on fire.

Samantha Spade is a great action character. She is tough, smart and level-headed, but she can also be vulnerable and relatable (her divorce and subsequent enlisting in the military). I usually donít read military mysteries but found that Lovelace made all the military jargon easy to understand and she really knows how to write a suspenseful mystery. I would have liked to have the romance between Samantha and Mitch developed more, but this is only the first in this series.

Jillean

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