Jule Selbo’s 10 Days is billed as “Dee Rommel Mystery #1.” After reading it, I’m hopeful this novel is the start of an ongoing book series. Selbo populates her story with a menagerie of quirky, yet believable characters. First and foremost is the lead, Dee Rommel, a police officer recovering from an on the job injury is working with a private investigator while she figures out what her future holds. Dee is an engaging lead. She’s tough, but her injury has made her a bit vulnerable. She can be a bit prickly, but her kindness shines through as well.
The supporting characters, from her curmudgeonly boss to the man of few words she meets at her local bar are given backstories that you’d expect from a sixth novel in a series. Despite knowing this is the first novel in a series, details are casually dropped in such a way that you wonder if you’ve missed a prior story. These details lend an air of authenticity and as the book progresses some of the referenced details knit together and come into focus. Selbo uses a distinct, clipped dialogue. While I occasionally felt this technique conveniently allowed Selbo to hold back on revealing some details, it felt authentic given the story’s northeast setting.
While a stable of fun characters is appreciated, a detective story is only as good as its case. 10 Days’ spins a heck of a yarn, as Dee is sucked into investigating the disappearance of a tech mogul’s daughter. The main story has enough twists to keep you reading, while avoiding stretching believability in service of surprises. If I had one complaint, it is that a few plot points required the characters to not talk when I think real people would have just explained things. This was my biggest complaint with one of the sub-plot mysteries, but Delbo crafts a satisfying resolution to it.
Jule Selbo has created a winning character in Dee Rommel and provided her a worthy mystery to solve. Here’s hoping that this novel is the first of many for the character.
Thanks to Kathleen Kaiser with Kathleen Kaiser & Associates for sending me a review copy!
10 Days: A DEE ROMMEL MYSTERY is now available at bookstores and on Amazon as a paperback, hardcover, or digitally via Kindle.
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