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Usually, I leave reading mysteries, dark academia, or classics for fall when the weather is just perfect. I’m not the one to read horrors, and I gave up on psychological thrillers a long time ago when the one I read disturbed me deeply. I’m a Pisces, you might even say sensitive, so cozy mysteries are as close as I’ll get to reading anything crime related.
When I found an ARC for Gail Meath‘s Songbird on NetGalley, I picked it up because the synopsis sounded interesting. I was looking for a fun, quick read, and that’s how I entered the world of Jax Diamond Mysteries.
Jax Diamond Mysteries Series
The first book in the series I’ve read was Songbird. You don’t technically have to read the books in order, nor do you need to read all of them to understand the plot. Each book has its own thing going on, chasing its criminals, but the main character gallery is the same. There are points in every book that connect the stories and plotlines, like Jax’s background, which are repeating motives we get snippets of in every book.
So far, the series has three books and one novella published, and the fifth book, Blackjack, is coming out this May. (So, now’s the perfect time for you to catch up on all the previous stories before it comes out 😉 ). The books are short, easy to go through, and very dynamic. You can easily binge them if that’s what you like.
The books, set in 1920s New York, with a detour to Millbury in the third book, all follow ex-officer-turned-detective Jax Diamond and his loyal partner Ace in their crime-solving adventures. Ace is the most loyal German Shepherd you’ll meet. He’s also very clever. You can read about how these two became an inseparable duo in the novella Two of a Kind.
This series offers many characters that you’ll like very much. Now, let’s see what each of the books has to offer.
Songbird (Jax Diamond Mysteries Series #1)
“A rip-roaring good historical mystery with Agatha Christie’s astute detecting skills and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s eye for the 1920s New York lifestyle.” – Historical Fiction Company
[…] [Jax and Ace] have their hands full when a playwright’s death is declared natural causes, and his new manuscript worth a million bucks is missing.
Laura Graystone, a beautiful rising Broadway star, is dragged into the heart of their investigation, and she’s none too happy about it. Especially when danger first strikes, and she needs to rely on her own ingenuity to save their hides.
Join Jax, Laura and Ace on a fun yet deadly ride during the Roaring Twenties that takes twists and turns, and a race against time to find the real murderer before he/she/they stop them permanently.
The mystery, the dots waiting to be connected with the answers always a step ahead, and of course, the Roaring Twenties made for a perfect getaway from reality. There was a lovely romance developing, but honestly, I was more interested in crime and mystery. And I am very much so invested in the deck of cards and their meaning. Is there more to it?
The book ends with a beautiful cliffhanger, or better say, some questions still left unresolved. One story finished, but there’s a path that leads right into the next adventure.
I liked this book very much, but the next book in the series I liked even more. The characters I met in Songbird, I grew to love in Framed. Again, you do not need to read these books in order, and you’ll follow the story easily if you only read Songbird. The stars of Songbird show up again in Framed, but the first case is closed.
Framed (Jax Diamond Mysteries #2)
Things get pretty sticky for PI Jax Diamond and his courageous canine partner, Ace, when their best friend, a cop, is framed for murder. And not just anyone’s murder. The victim is the fiancée of the most notorious gangster in the city, Orin Marino, Jax’s worst enemy.
Laura Graystone, the budding Broadway Star and Jax’s new squeeze, proves to be an ingenious partner as they sift through clues trying to find the real murderer. But when Jax is pinched for another crime, Laura and Ace are forced to go undercover.
Hang on to your seat as Jax, Laura and Ace take you on another crazy, whodunit ride during the Roaring Twenties. Where no one is who they seem, and those who do, aren’t. Anything goes during an era of fun and frolic, song and dance, speakeasies, gangsters, bootlegging, and bribes.
I liked this book even better than the first one. The characters were more stable within the story, their dynamic shifted, and their teamwork was brilliant. Even though I love our MC Jax, Laura was the star in this one. I was successfully deceived throughout the book and didn’t guess the suspect until he was revealed. I loved how our women fight for justice and aren’t afraid to take the initiative.
I don’t know much about Roaring Twenties, especially in America, but I could tell that the author put a lot of research into this because she really set the right tone. She was mindful of the vocabulary, fashion, the historical facts she mentioned or used in the story. Reading this, I forgot I was in 2023 Europe.
Deuce (Jax Diamond Mysteries #3)
One for sorrow, two for spice triggers a game of three blind mice.
While vacationing in New England, PI Jax Diamond and his courageous canine partner, Ace, bite off more than they can chew when two small town deaths reveal two big time killers, and the locals don’t take too kindly to strangers.
Laura Graystone, Broadway star, auto expert, and Jax’s heartthrob, is once again front and center digging for clues while trying to ditch an old boyfriend. That is, until her brother becomes Jax’s prime suspect. Then all hell breaks loose, and Ace is left in the lurch, tracking down leads with his new sidekick, Susie.
A crazy duet of crimes sends Jax, Laura and Ace into a tailspin in small-town USA during the Roaring Twenties. Where no one is above the law, everyone is a suspect, and time is running out before the clock strikes one.
We leave New York in this one and travel to Millbury, which is supposed to be a peaceful and uneventful little town. But is our dream team attracting trouble? They just got there, and already there’s a case to be solved. Soon they start to investigate two murders, but are they related? Who’s behind all this, and what games are they playing? I had my suspicions, but the author cleverly guided me off the tracks.
In this book, the stakes are higher. The crime is closer to home, with danger lurking in the backyard, and you’ll never know who’s just acting suspiciously and who plays the game well.
Every book in the Jax Diamond Mysteries keeps getting better. This one is my favorite so far! I loved the story, the chase, the questions it answered, and the questions it opened. It’s full of plot twists, hard-to-crack clues, danger, and great teamwork.
Two of a Kind: The Beginning (Jax Diamond Mysteries #4)
The Christmas holiday hinges on a dicey game of chance.
Officer Jax Diamond doesn’t always play by the rules, and he’s in the hot seat again with the captain of his precinct. So, when a brazen little puppy alerts him of a crime, Jax is ordered to stand down or get canned.
On the city streets, broke and alone, Jax beats himself up for making the wrong decision. Even the little tramp who keeps trailing him everywhere can’t lift his spirits. But crime never stops in New York City and a string of deadly Christmas capers spirals out of control.
Hang on to your seat as Jax and his new pint-sized partner, Ace, team up to save the Christmas holidays during the Roaring Twenties, an era of fun and frolic, song and dance, speakeasies, gangsters, bootlegging, and bribes. – A Novella
Let’s go back a few years to meet baby Ace and see how he won over Jax’s heart. This little bundle of fur and a wagging tail turned out to be the best partner our (then-officer) Jax needed.
The beginning of the story was like a punch in the gut. It was so sad, but I loved the related scene at the end.
Ace is brilliant, and he deserves all the treats in the world. I have to say, I’m not a dog person, but Ace has my heart. I can’t wait to see more of him.
Next in store in the Jax Diamond Mysteries Series
Book 5 in the series, Blackjack (Jax Diamond Mysteries #5) is coming out May 10, 2023. You can pre-order it on Amazon.
Book 6, Killjoy (Jax Diamond #6), comes out in October of this year.
A penny for your thoughts? What do you think about this series? Have you read it already? How did you like it? If you haven’t, then thank me later for putting you onto your next best mystery series 🙂