Private Deception (A Jade O'Reilly Mystery)

Private Deception - Tamara Ward 3-3.5 starsThis is the first full-length book featuring Jade O'Reilly, a 20-something Private Investigator. She's hired to prove that Bill, a lawyer, is cheating on his wife, Evelyn. And boy, does Jade get some great pictures of Bill and Candy, his mistress! She also runs into the latest Sweetwater detective, Keith - handsome, but all business.Then it turns out that Bill was shot and killed minutes after Keith asked her to leave private property... now Jade's a suspect, although it's more likely the police are simply trying to shake her down for information and her hunches, based on the investigating she's been doing for Evelyn.Meanwhile, her boss Rex has assigned Jade and Mack to track down 17-yr old Lily, the daughter of Melissa - a woman that Rex wants to date. Putting Mack and Jade on a case together is like oil-and-water; can the two of them overcome their generation gap and mutual dislike for one another long enough to get the job done?And why can't Jade shake the feeling that Lily is somehow tied into Bill's death?==================I liked this story - it shows promise. At times, it read a bit slow and frustrated me. The story's not action-packed or fast-paced, but there are 2 deaths and 1 missing girl, not to mention the drama at home between Jade and her ex-fiancee Dale, who is still in love with her and who her brothers think she should still marry. But Jade is attracted to Keith and Benton Rowe, a millionaire client of Bill's and a man that Jade just can't quite read. Is Benton flirting with her to get information or because he really likes her? And what's up with Benton's remarks about how Jade is like her father? When Jade finds her father's investigative reporting notes about Benton Rowe and his businesses from before he died, she starts to wonder if Rowe is somehow connected with her father's stabbing.The slow-down parts were around trying to find Lily. Seems to me that Jade, being in her 20s and a rebel in her own right, should have been able to think of many, many places in Sweetwater and around the college campus that Lily would have hung out. Finding Lily and how she connects to everything just took way too long. It made Jade and Mack look downright dumb, although I realize the idea is that they don't like each other and don't work well together. Still... And then Jade allows Mack to take the lion's share of the credit?The Lily subplot seemed a convenient way to keep Jade occupied and not thinking 100% about Bill's murder. But, overall, the book was well written and engaging. The author has established a firm foundation for the major characters, and she's provided a lot of room for growth. They aren't static characters by any means.I located another short story about Jade, which I'll read next. Hopefully, there will be another full-length Jade story coming soon. That will help establish, for me, whether this series is one I will continue with.