In Popped Off, stay-at-home dad Deuce Winters, is the head coach of his 5-year-old daughter's soccer team in a small town in Texas. When Moises Huber, the president of the soccer association, disappears along with thousands of dollars of the association’s registration fees, Deuce is determined to find him and save his daughter's soccer season. This investigation leads him into the different worlds of gambling, smuggling and mega-churches.
I enjoyed this book. It offers a refreshing male perspective in the world of cozy mysteries. Since many cozy mysteries are written by females and written about female protagonists, I wasn't sure if it was going to work, but it did! This is the second book in the Stay at Home Mystery series, but the first one I've read.
Both the overall story and mystery were likeable. The author threw in a couple of twists and turns to keep me guessing and to keep it interesting. Even though the investigation takes Deuce into some dangerous situations, the story doesn't stray from the cozy mystery genre. It remains light and humorous.
I liked Deuce. He was a down-to-earth, caring father and husband, who had his priorities straight. He did lie to his wife, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. A few of his actions or reactions, however, seemed uncharacteristic. He came across as mild mannered (at least to me), but got extremely agitated, when two men in suits approached him at the blackjack table. Deuce knew they were from the casino, yet he refused to cooperate with them. I couldn't figure out why. The whole scene was just odd and didn't come across as believable. Also, the ribbing he gave his partner, Victor, was funny, to a point, but got old fast. In my opinion, some of it was mean, over the line and uncalled for.
Overall, Allen presents a good mystery with a sound resolution and satisfying ending.
I haven't read the first book, Stay at Home Dead, but I'm going to keep my eyes open for it.
Recommended. I enjoyed this one enough that I'd probably read the next one, Father Knows Death.
For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the Kensington Books website.
Thanks to those nice people from Kensington Books for this review copy.
Popped Off by Jeffrey Allen, Kensington Books, ©2012. ISBN 9780758266903(Mass Market), 281p.