18619651Reviewed by Jessa Larsen

There’s a high profile homicide on the streets of Hollywood with dozens of witnesses, but nobody seems to have seen anything of importance. At least nothing they’re admitting to seeing. Honestly, Captain Jose Corsino isn’t surprised. This is the slums of Santa Monica Boulevard, not the high end glitz of Hollywood. You’re more likely to see prostitutes, drug addicts, gang members, and runaway teens than glamorous celebrities or politicians. Unless, of course, those penthouse tenants turn out to have secret lives as transvestites. But that causes it’s own set of problems for the Captain, because the very people that rubbed shoulders with the victim seem determined to leave the case unsolved.

Mere hours after the discovery of the first dead transvestite, another homicide in the same neighborhood turns this sticky case into an absolute disaster. No matter where they look, they can’t seem to get any closer to solving either case. As they delve deeper and deeper into this bizarre world of cross dressing secrets, the mystery just gets stranger and stranger.

Captain Josie Corsino is back and she has the responsibility of handling the case, her subordinates, and her own messy personal life. Her husband has left her, her son has moved out, and she still can’t seem to figure anything out. Things get even more interesting, and potentially complicated, when an old friend comes back to town to help with the current case. Will she rise above it? Or will it trap her and drag her completely under?

I love just about anything by Connie Dial and Unnatural Murder was no exception. I wouldn’t say that cop dramas or mysteries are typically my genre of choice, but something about how Dial puts it all together just works and works very well. I like to think I’m pretty clever and I usually smell the rat from a mile away (or in this case, before I get halfway through the book), but Dial’s clever twists and turns kept me guessing until the final reveal at the end. I love that she took a potentially hot topic and kept it appropriately intriguing. I feel like Dial just knows reality and weaves a little bit of it into her fiction, making it exciting and giving me characters to fall in love with. I will continue to follow Captain Josie Corsino wherever she ends up going next.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 dogs and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She is a full time mom and enjoys writing short stories in her spare time. She also likes watching anime, reading books, and playing video games.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by The Permanent Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.