Review: Angel’s Tip

Overall, I enjoyed this book by Alafair Burke ~ finished it in 24 hours, I think. That’s the way it is for me with mysteries/detective stories. Either they grab me right away and I need to see what happens, or they’re just meh. Angel’s Tip had a gripping plot and good characters, plus the misdirection was epic. Also, NYC was also a “character” in that the city played a large part in the unfolding events, including streets, hotels, clubs, etc. I learned a new district: NoLIta! North of Little Italy. The police work and interactions felt real to me as well, not that I would know.

Now for my problems with the book. The title, ugh. Not even sure why I bought a book with such a horrible title ~ it must have been one of those 99 cent Kindle specials. I tend to snap those up cuz I like to read new authors and expand my genres from the same old romances.

There were many typos. I’m seeing this more and more with Kindle books, unfortunately. I hope I proof mine properly, but you tend to skim over your own errors.

While the main plot and side plots were fabulous, there was this goofy-assed backstory about the protag’s father that irritated me. This wasn’t part of the misdirection or anything fun; it just sat there like a lump of old moldy bread. Also, I really dislike clichéd reasons that someone becomes a cop. Why can’t they just wanna be a cop? We don’t see this with other professions in novels. “I became a shoe salesman because a kind shoe salesman had given my grandfather a pair of shoes when he was down and out.” Who cares? Ellie’s a cop; let’s move on.

Thing is, Kindle books are a little shorter than the old paperbacks we’re used to, so when you try to cram too much stuff in there, it dilutes the story. There isn’t so much time to drag out every freaking skeleton from the closet.

HOWEVER. There was something important that the author completely glossed over ~ why our protag was dating this annoying reporter she met on a {GAG ME} dating site. It’s OK that the story begins mid-romance because it isn’t a romance, but if we’re to like and relate to Ellie, we should understand this choice she made to be with Peter.

Now I’m gonna do a little spoiling, so skip this if you want to read the book and be surprised.

*************************SPOILER ALERT*************************

Ellie is a great cop, but her BROTHER has to discover that Peter never deleted his dating site profile? Um hello. You would think a cop should be the first person to have this stuff sorted out. And though suspicion falls on Peter, we don’t find out anything about him. If Ellie is sleeping with him, shouldn’t she (and we) know more than simply his profession? Forget her father; spend more words on the boyfriend.

Ellie’s partner Rogan is “set up” for something because he apparently has money to buy fancy things, and this is mentioned repeatedly. But we never discover what his deal really is. He said he inherited some bucks, but that doesn’t explain enough. Maybe this is supposed to get us to buy another novel, but I found it annoying

Now here comes a super-spoiler, so this is your last warning to click away.

Still here?


A hallmark of a good detective story is misdirection. Layered and complex misdirection is a beautiful thing to experience. But! We need to see all the suspects as themselves and have the protag interact with them, or at least talk about them, for more than a sentence. It’s sort of a cheat to misdirect at several possibilities and then at the end say oopsy it’s this other person we hardly saw at all and know nothing about. That’s not cool. It’s almost like saying goddidit, gotcha.

Also, don’t have two characters dying of cancer and use that for their motivation to commit crimes. One’s plenty. Think of something else.

Other than this stuff, which was relatively minor except the surprise villain (and the typos!), I liked the book very much and gave it four stars. Will I buy more novels from Burke? Idk. I have a lot of other books on my carousel at the mo.

PS: I adore badge as a verb. Example: “We badged the bouncer and he pulled the velvet rope aside immediately.” Many many hearts.


2 responses to “Review: Angel’s Tip

  1. I’ve read her Daddy’s books and now you’ve encouraged me to read hers.


  2. That typos thing is inexcusable. Have. It. Proofread. For fuck’s sake. I’m not saying I expect things to be completely error free, because shit happens, but they’d better be at a minimum, or else I just paid you for a draft, and that pisses me off.

    If you can’t afford a professional proofreader, hand it off to a trusted friend. If it’s too much of an imposition for a trusted friend, exchange with another author.

    Just please.


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