Deadly Ambition by Laura Bradford (Jenkins & Burns Mysteries 3.5)

Deadly Ambitions is a relatively short novella (under 100 pages) in the Jenkins & Burns cozy mystery series by Laura Bradford. I always enjoyed reading her books and I’ve actually read all previous 3 books in this series without realizing that they are part of a series. I’ve read them several years apart from each other, and at the time they all had different names. Only when I got Deadly Ambition from Netgalley to read and review I realized that indeed they are all part of the Jenkins and Burns mysteries.

If you’re not sure whether you’ve read the previous books, here they are published under their original names:

#1 Deadly Readings (original name Jury of One)

#2 Deadly Getaway (original name Forecast of Evil)

#3 Deadly Expressions (original name Marked by Fate)

None of the books are extremely long, I remember holding the paperback editions of these books and they were quite slim at around 250 pages or so, which makes it a great series to read fast for a quick and entertaining few hours.

When I picked up Deadly Ambition, I was worried that being part of a series it would hinder me from enjoying it. However far from it. It can be easily read as a standalone novel and there is only once or twice anything mentioned about past adventures of Elise and Mitch Burns.

Ocean Point is recovering from a major hurricane that hit Jersey Shore. People are rebulding their lives after having lost almost everything, and Mitch Burns is far from happy when a series of robberies are happening right in the town, right in the aftermath of the major destruction. He already has his suspect, one of the interns at the local paper where Elise is also working.

While noone at the newspaper really enjoys the college kid’s company, Elise is far from being sure that indeed the intern is guilty of all these robberies.

Afterall he always said that what he wants is his name so well known that any major newspaper in the country would want to hire him right away, and that didn’t resonate very well with him being caught for robbery and theft.

So Elise Burns decides to do a bit of sleuthing of her own and now has to find out not only who really did the robberies, but also who committed a murder. And she has to do it soon, before she becomes the killer’s next victim.

The cozy mystery novella is easy and fun to read, and while there is no strong character or story development within the book (afterall it is less than 100 pages long), it is a great way to get to know Elise and Mitch and learn a bit about the folks living at Ocean Point. Since the novels can be read out of order, if you’ve never read any of the previous books in the series, this novella is a perfect way to get into the Jenkins & Burns mysteries.

Btw Deadly Ambitions is currently only available in eBook format, and it’s about 99 cents or so.

Check out the previous books in the Jenkins & Burns mystery series:

Deadly ReadingsDeadly ReadingsBUY NOW

Deadly GetawayDeadly GetawayBUY NOW

Deadly ExpressionsDeadly ExpressionsBUY NOW


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  1. I haven’t read a mystery in a long time. Are you familiar with Sue Grafton? She had a series of ‘alphabet’ mysteries a number of years ago that are very good.

    1. Yes, I’ve read most of her books in the series. Fun crime mystery novels. Have to catch up with her latest ones, I think she’s already on “W”.

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