Thursday, December 28, 2017

Review - Choked Up by Janey Mack

Choked Up by Janey Mack
Series: Maisie McGrane Mystery #2
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
Date Read: December 24, 2017
Length:  352 pages
Source: NetGalley
"The most engaging new detective in a long time." --Hy Conrad, author of Toured to Death

She's working undercover--and she's in way over her head.

Scrappy Traffic Enforcement agent Maisie McGrane has finally landed her dream job as a Chicago police officer. There's just one catch. She must remain undercover as a meter maid to gather evidence against Stannislav Renko, a charismatic Serbian mobster running a brutal multi-million dollar mobile chop-shop operation.

When Maisie is targeted by a killer who leaves a body slumped against her car, Renko comes to her rescue and takes her under his wing. From her perch inside the crime boss's inner circle, Maisie sets up a daring sting operation to take down Renko once and for all. But can she pull it off before her family of overprotective Irish cops and her sexy ex-Army Ranger boyfriend blow her cover?
My Review

This was an okay read for me. I decided to read this book because it seemed to be exactly what I was in the mood to read.   I remembered seeing some comparisons to Evanovich and thought a mystery with a side of laughter would be just perfect.  Unfortunately, I didn't find this book funny.  At all.  I didn't crack a smile even once so that is a pretty big disappointment.  The mystery did hold my interest though.  It wasn't a bad read but it wasn't quite what I thought it would be.

Maisie McGrane comes from family of police officers and defense attorneys.  Maisie is a meter maid which isn't exactly the same thing.  Maisie does want to join the police but her family has blocked her path so she jumps at the chance to work undercover with a special unit.  She is eager to quit her job and start her new career until she learns that they want her to continue working as she gathers information.

Maisie jumps into her new role completely.  She is soon an important part of the life a notorious mobster, Stannis.  There are quite a few action scenes with Maisie finding herself in danger more often than can be healthy.  She must keep the mobster happy while feeding information to her contacts.  Hopefully she can remain safe and explain things to her boyfriend later. 

Maisie seemed to be in way over her head.  I can't say that I really liked her or disliked her character.  I didn't have a lot of confidence in her abilities and thought some of her actions were pretty questionable.  Her boyfriend, Hank, didn't seem real to me at all.  His character did remind me a bit of Ranger from the Stephanie Plum series but even little more perfect and superheroish. 

In the end, I think that this story was rather forgettable.  This is the second book in the series but I didn't feel like I was missing anything by reading out of order.  I was really curious about how everything would work out which kept the pages turning but I don't plan to read any additional books in the series. 

I received an advanced reader edition of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley.
About the Author

Janey Mack grew up always wanting to be a cop but her dad wouldn't let her, so she did the next best thing and created Maisie McGrane, who gets to do everything she can't. She lives with her husband and children in Scottsdale, Arizona, within driving distance of her brothers.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. Oh, sorry it didn’t really work for you. It's interesting, though. Awesome review, Carole. 😁❤️

  2. I tend to avoid 'funny' books as I never seem to find them funny! It's a pity it wasn't what you hoped for.

    1. I have found some books funny but have been disappointed at times.

  3. I'm always curious when books are compared to the ones of Evanovich but it's too bad that it wasn"t more

    1. I don't really read much from Evanovich anymore but I couldn't get enough of her early Stephanie Plum books.

  4. Aw I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one more! I would've been bummed about the lack of funny parts too. And it's always hard when you feel such an indifference over a character.

    1. I agree. It is much easier to enjoy a book if you connect with some of the characters.

  5. The title for this one kind of confuses me, but I love the description! I've been wanting more mobster stories in my life. Sorry it was just an okay read for you...

  6. Bummer that it didn't have that extra spark to it that you were looking for. Glad the mystery was decent.

  7. Replies
    1. It looks like other readers did enjoy it a bit more than I did though.

  8. Ah boo. Sounds rather underwhelming. Glad bits held your interest at least.

  9. I hate that it didn't work out for you! It seems like there was a lot going on in the synopsis. Too many hands in the cake, maybe? I'm probably misquoting that saying, lol.

    Do You Dog-ear?

    1. I didn't really feel like too much was going on but I just was never really hooked by the story.


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