Talented Amateur by Maryn Scott is an intriguing mystery and suspense story with a dash of romance added in. It is also a good solid debut novel.
The story revolves around Peel Primm, a librarian who always wanted to be a spy like her favorite television character Emma Peel from “The Avengers”. However, she was never prepared to be kidnapped out of the blue by a Mexican drug lord. She was also not prepared to be attracted to Anna, the drug lord’s assistant.
The mystery in the story is a good one with lots of twists and turns. I was really expecting Peel to be the true shero, but in the end, Anna seemed to take that position with Peel more as a sidekick and a damsel-in-distress. I don’t see that as a problem. The story works out just fine with these two characters as they are. It’s just not what I expected because of the blurb.
We get to know Anna’s history through several flashbacks in the story. I’ve never been a big fan of flashbacks, but I know they are sometimes important to help the plot. Most of the ones in this book did help us understand Anna better, but one or two of them could have been left out without harming the overall story.
It’s easy to see the chemistry between Anna and Peel, and the romance is a good break from the action and mystery. I really liked Anna as a person. Sometimes Peel seemed really young and naïve…more than I expected her to be, so it took a bit longer to connect with her.
I did enjoy this novel. It is a fine mystery and romance, and a good beginning for the author. I look forward to reading more of her work.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.