H.G. McKinnis’ talents go beyond guest blogging about thrift shopping here on this blog. It turns out that she is a captivating storyteller, too. Her debut novel, A Justified Bitch: A Las Vegas Mystery, releases today. She tells a tale of murder, mental health, family obligation, and acceptance. I would say that is what the bulk of the novel is really about—acceptance—acceptance of reality, acceptance of people and their flaws, acceptance of responsibilities. Heck, maybe it’s more about surrender, because in the end when you realize you have no other choice but to do what you have to do, you don’t just accept. You surrender, right?
In her novel, McKinnis introduces the reader to Helen. She’s crazy, like, bat-shit-crazy. At least, that will be your first opinion. But as you get to know Helen, as your compassion begins to reveal itself, your opinion changes. You question yourself. You question how society treats the mentally ill. Are we too quick to label people as crazy? Are we too quick to discard them as a result?
Helen’s sister, Pat, has those same questions, but for her it’s a real struggle. She feels guilty. She feels remorseful. She’s looking for a way to redeem herself, and she finds the opportunity to do so when Helen’s call-girl neighbor is murdered and her finger winds up on Helen’s property.
With A Justified Bitch not only are you taken through the maze that is a murder mystery, you’re also taken through all the quirky avenues that make up Las Vegas. As a local, that is certainly one of the reasons why I truly appreciated this book. I recognized McKinnis’ landmark references, from Sunrise Mountain to Bally’s. For that matter, I even recognized some of the characters. They are just so… so… so Las Vegas. There’s no other way to describe them.
Whether you live in Sin City, visit often, or just love good crime fiction, you will enjoy A Justified Bitch: A Las Vegas Mystery. Buy it at a bookstore near you or online at Amazon.com.
Complimentary book received.