Book Review: Sticks & Stones by K.J Larsen

Sticks and Stones (A Cat DeLuca Mystery #2) K.J Larsen- Sticks & Stones (A Cat DeLuca Mystery #2)

Format- ebook

Source- Review copy/netgalley

Publisher- Poisoned Pen Press

Publication date- 7th Feb, 2012

Synopsis- What does a woman do when she discovers her husband is an incurable cheater? If she’s Cat DeLuca she launches the Pants On Fire Detective Agency. Now Cat does what two years of unholy matrimony taught her. She catches cheaters.When a client (Cleo Jones) shoots her cheating husband’s bum full of buckshot, he disappears, taking her money, dog, and sister with him. Private Investigator Cat DeLuca promises to return the dog and money if her client stops shooting at Walter. Cleo agrees. The detective finds the dog and a mysterious bag chuck-full of cash. And then she finds Walter. His very dead body is still warm. The case is a slam dunk for the cops who arrest Cleo for the murder of her husband. She had motive and opportunity and a dozen witnesses heard her scream bloody murder. One made a video. Cat DeLuca is determined to prove her client’s innocence and it’s not an easy sell. Walter was an unsavory character with enemies. To find his killer, Cat will have to sift through the ones who didn’t pull the trigger. Her investigation leads to four players with secrets: a childhood friend, a gambler, a construction tycoon, and a legendary Chicago designer. When forensic evidence suggests the detective knows more about the murder than she’s telling, Cat faces the certain loss of her agency.  Cat DeLuca is smart and charming. She’s an unlikely heroine and her partner, a beagle named Inga, is quite likely to eat the evidence. Sticks and Stones delivers steamy romance, intrigue and laugh out loud humor for a wickedly delicious read.

Review- Cat DeLuca is a private detective who runs the Pants on Fire Detective Agency. Her mission: to catch cheating husbands. Sticks and Stones is the second book in this series, following on from Liar Liar- which I have not read but did not really seem to make a difference to the reading experience- in the typical style of Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum humour/ crime series.

Cat’s job requires her to ‘stalk’ men and take happy snaps of them in compromising positions and then to break the news to their already suspicious wives. This time around, Cat winds up in the midst of a murder investigation when Cat’s new partner Cleo’s ex-husband is found murdered. Cat wants to clear Cleo’s name, but do so they need to find his killer. Cat comes from a large, intrusive Italian family and there is plenty of inane relational drama to keep Cat on her toes.

Cat is a likeable character who ends up in some ridiculous situations and has a similar flighty impulsive nature to Stephanie Plum. Then there’s the love triangle with her mate Max and lover Chance with plenty of drama to add to the hilarity of Cat’s life.

Sticks and Stones is a fast-paced action-crime novel with witty one-liners and eccentric characters.

3/5 rating

Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon/ Book Depository UK

Also in the Cat DeLuca Mystery series :

Liar, Liar (A Cat DeLuca Mystery #1)


  • I thought this was a fun read too Jayne, though very similar to the Stephanie Plum series

    • It was a quick and easy read, but i’m not sure if it’s a series I will follow through… i’m still getting through the Stephanie Plum books! I think i have about 15 to go!

  • I loved both sticks and stones and liar liar! Agreed, very similar to the stephanie plum series, but I love both authors and the crazy, zany cast of characters each brings us. I can’t wait for the new book to come out! I’m so impatient! LOL

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