Illicit Artifacts by Stevie Mikayne

I started off this book so confused. Totally my fault, I had no clue that this was actually a sequel. I read about 30% off the book, before I realized that something was off and I was clearly in the dark about certain aspects of the two main characters and their lives. So I stopped and purchased Uncatholic Behavior, read it, and started Illicit Artifacts again. What a dork!

What’s not dorky is this book. This book is damn good. It’s a mystery that is tangled in so many ways, that at times I felt myself pull back and wonder how the author is going to pull this off. She did!

Jil Kidd is a private investigator that has just lost her foster mother, Elise. She is struggling with the fact that she has now become an orphan twice in her life. Elise has left Jil with a tangled web of deceptions, millions of dollars and valuable artifacts that keep turning up missing. Elise’s double life, and art thievery is one of the two plots happening.

The second plot involves Jil’s relationship with Jess Blake, the local Catholic school principal. Unlike the last book, in Illicit Artifacts we get to read Jil’s POV as well as Jess’s. I thought this was probably the best aspect of the whole book. The emotions that both characters are going through are poignant, as their relationship hits the skids. Jess is a captivating character. Jess is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and some lingering anxiety issues from previous events at her job. She is also deeply in the closet, which is one of the main reasons for Jil pulling back from their relationship. Personally, being able to see Jess’s POV was remarkable and very well thought out by Stevie Mikayne.

You definitely will not be disappointed in this book. This is a good mystery, with a fair amount of back story and two fantastic female leads. I without a doubt recommend reading Uncatholic Behavior first. Overall this is a clever book that is very well written. This may be wishful thinking but I absolutely felt like there was unfinished business in the end, I hope so, a third book with Jil and Jess would be awesome.

This ARC was provided to me by Netgalley.

4 out of 5 stars

Illicit Artifacts
by Stevie Mikayne

UnCatholic Conduct by Stevie Mikayne

Jil Kidd is a private investigator hired by the head of St. Marguerite’s Catholic School on the outskirts of Ontario to investigate uncatholic behavior by the school staff. She was hired find if the teachers and administrators of the school are violating their Catholic morality contract. Jil basically has no desire to take this case, but her firm has fallen on hard times and this is a good paycheck.

Jess Blake is the sexy, smart principal of St. Marguerite’s. She is relatively new to the job, and does not want to let her students or staff down. Jess is also a closeted lesbian, who is torn between her job and her emotional desires.

The heart of the book is wrapped up in a mystery of why there has been a rash of teen suicides on or near campus since the 1970’s. While Jil was sent there to investigate the staff’s “Catholicness”, she really ends up investigating these deaths. Her gut tells her that something is not right, and works diligently putting the pieces together. With the help of Jess and a few others she begins to unravel this twisted story. Of course Jil and Jess are extremely attracted to each other, and that creates an interesting dynamic to the book.

Overall, I found the story very well written with good pacing, and a nice way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon.

 4 out of 5 Stars
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

UnCatholic Conduct
by Stevie Mikayne