An asset to President Ann Kinji in the past, Serena is snatched in Germany and brought back to the United States for a covert mission run by former government agents. Realizing that her participation is not entirely voluntary, she is desperate to complete the mission so that she can be reunited with her family. As the case draws her ever closer to the conspiracy to kill the president, she reaches out to the criminally insane for help, sinking deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole where the bodies are piling up and nothing is as it seems.
COVERT COFFEE is Serena Wilcox Mystery #5. While the early SW books (books #1-3) are not necessary to read before COVERT COFFEE, book #4 ANGELS MARK is an important prequel. The Serena Wilcox Mysteries are hard to classify into a single genre, and are a genre all their own: crimes that have never happened (yet) either because the technology doesn't exist, or because no one has thought to do it. Other features of the series are its offbeat plots (plots-within-plots with many twists and endings readers can't guess) and no graphic violence or sexual content, yet edgy (hardboiled) and contemporary, even futuristic, when read the same year as the publishing date; the books written in 2000 or earlier have lost most of that edge.
The series has been labeled Christian or religious due to the author's mention of praying or faith, yet readers who don't share her views have commented that the series is not "preachy" and religious bias was slight and not offensive. Readers have commented that they appreciate a clean fun read, regardless of religious views.
The Serena Wilcox Mysteries books 1-3; GENE PLAY, 1998, VIRTUAL MEMORIES, 1999, and CAMP CONVICTION, 2000 are light page-turners with creative plots. The writing, especially in GENE PLAY, is simplistic. The books are nonetheless fun to read if readers want insight into the "grown up" version of the series. Readers who want to read the earlier titles in the Serena Wilcox mystery series can find the first three books in the series, plus commentary, in a 3-book set titled: "The Serena Wilcox Mysteries: Books 1, 2 & 3".
Reading the earlier titles is not necessary to enjoy ANGELS MARK or COVERT COFFEE. ANGELS MARK is book #4 of the Serena Wilcox Mysteries. It is written in a different style from books 1-3 and stands-alone nicely. However, it is the prequel for COVERT COFFEE, book #5, and should be read before reading COVERT COFFEE. The series has a dramatic change in writing style from book #3 to book #4. Books #4-6 should be read in order (Book #6 BLUEBIRD FLOWN 2013).
The Serena Wilcox mystery series is categorized as humorous, while also being hard-boiled. More than one reader has said about Serena Wilcox, "She's the kind of person I'd love to have as a friend."
Author website: www.nataliebuskethomas.com
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