Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Dying for Data (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Book 2)

Salem, C. (2016). Dying for Data (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth, Book 2). Self-published.

Clean New Adult / Cozy Mystery


Book Blurb: Bad karma, a rival suitor, and a deadly attack are enough to put a damper on any date. 

Just when Adina's social life is looking up, her night out is interrupted by the scream of police sirens. Afraid her bartender boyfriend might be accused of murder, Adina’s neighbor enlists her assistance, and in the process exposes her to the seamier side of illegal immigration and crime in the city. Hard as she tries to limit her involvement, the more Adina learns, the more she needs to know – until a case of mistaken identity lands her in hot water. Will she uncover the truth before it’s too late?

Hall Ways Review: Dying for Data is the second book in the series with main character and accidental sleuth, Adina Donati, but it stands alone just fine. At 176 pages, it is a quick but completely satisfying read; you get the story without the fluff! "Accidental sleuth" is a great description of main character Adina, as she seems to literally walk right into mysteries by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In my review of the first book in the series, Think Murder, I said Adina seemed like Bess from the Nancy Drew mysteries -- and I still think that fits. However, I was happy to see that Adina is more mature in this book, especially in her approach and attitude towards her job. Hooray! (In my review of book one, it rubbed my rhubarb that she was a bit of a flake at work, though they didn't give her much to do, either.)

As in Think Murder, in Dying for Data, I enjoy the details of the DC setting and for a Texan, I especially love how people can hop the metro to get everywhere they need to go. How cool is that?  Author Cassidy Salem dips into making some subtle social commentary about our nation's immigration laws, sanctuary policies, and attitudes towards immigrants, but she weaves it fairly seamlessly into the story line.

The book is well edited with just a few typos and errors that don't detract at all from the story.  Adina seems to speak directly to the reader, and it's a comfortable place to be. I was glad to see neighbor Daniel Sullivan return, and of course detective Jonathan Saks from book one. Salem makes readers really pull for the detective to win Adina's heart. He's so stinkin' thoughtful and considerate (and Adina's mother would approve!). Jonathan seems to be a good influence on Adina in helping her to better practice her Jewish faith, and there's definitely a slow burning something between Adina and Jonathan -- but look out! At the dog rescue center where Adina volunteers, there's Bruce, a fit and super-hot rival for Adina's attentions.

After the climax of the story, Adina is still in some danger, and my only complaint is that element was tied up very quickly and possibly a bit too conveniently. By the same token, having anything more complicated would likely detract from the overall feel of the story.  I feel like this series fits a niche that is barely filled right now, and that's clean new adult. The characters are single and making their ways a few years out of college. There is all the fun and flirty-ness of new relationships, but there's no sex and no profanity. It's refreshing! I definitely look forward to more unintentional adventures with Adina -- and did I pick up a hint that there may be a new neighborhood where Adina will find them?

Thank you to the author for her never-ending patience in waiting for my review and for providing me an eBook copy in exchange for my honest opinion -- the only kind I give. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cassidy Salem has always been an avid reader. She is especially fond of mysteries (both cozy and traditional). Over the years, her favorite mystery authors have included Agatha Christie, Kathy Reichs, Mary Higgins Clark, and John Grisham. Cassidy also enjoys reading historical fiction focused on American and world history, as well as the classics.

Cassidy has never met a dog she didn't like - a fact that influenced her decision to have the protagonist in Think Murder, her first mystery, volunteer at a dog rescue center. Dying for Data, the second novel in the Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth mystery series, was released in August 2016.

More recently, Cassidy has begun collaboration with Christa Nardi on a new YA series . The first book, The Mysterious Package - A Hannah and Tamar Mystery, was released in October 2016.

When she's not reading, Cassidy enjoys singing in an a cappella ensemble. Most of all, Cassidy enjoys spending time with family and friends, and travels with her husband and son whenever possible. Her travels have taken her to destinations throughout the United States and Europe.

Click for Hall Ways Review


  1. Thank you, Kristine for your kind words. I hope your readers enjoy the book.

    1. You're welcome! Readers are guaranteed to like this book!