M2D4 Toe Tag: What Meets the Eye by Alex Kenna

What Meets the Eye is a Private Investigator mystery. PI Kate Myles takes a job everyone else has turned down, the investigation of an avant-garde artist’s death. LAPD, Kate’s former employer, determined it was a suicide. But, of course, her father doesn’t buy it for no fact-based reason. Kate’s taken this job before and three out of three times, the cops were right. But this time? This time just may be different.  

Bottom line: What Meets the Eye is for you if you like your art edgy, your stakes high, and your dirty deeds done anything but cheap.

Listen to the prologue and first chapter here or wherever you get Mysteries to Die For podcast

Strengths of the story. The setting is one of the stars of this story. This mystery is embedded in the LA art scene and told in a way that could only be done by someone with Kenna’s unique background. This goes beyond the death of a star artist and makes this one of the most mysteries I’m read in a long time.

The plot is equally interesting, likely because it is interwoven with the art scene itself. This isn’t a mystery that is merely dropped into an interesting setting. This story only exists because of where it is in the art scene.

Where the story fell short of ideal. The story telling style is 80% from Kate Myles POV in modern time with the remainder from other characters and/or in past times. On the “pro” side, the style gives the reader “just in time” cues to motivation and back story for the mystery or Kate herself. On the “con” side, it can pull the reader out of the story and introduce some time or speaker confusion. This will be something that some readers won’t notice at all and will bother others. For my own experience, I “hear” the story as I read, so tended to hear Kate regardless of who the narrator was supposed to be. Hence, it caused me some confusion but was able to work through it quickly.

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