Olivia Blacke continues her quirky, warmhearted Brooklyn Murder Mysteries series with No Memes of Escape, her second book featuring amateur sleuth Odessa Dean. Small-town Southern girl Odessa, whom readers met in Killer Content, is loving her summer in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, N.Y., staying at her aunt's bougie apartment and waitressing at Untapped Books & Café. But things take a turn when Odessa and her friend Izzy join an escape-room adventure that ends in murder--and Izzy is a prime suspect. Determined to clear her friend's name, Odessa runs around the city (in her cowboy boots) interviewing other suspects. Then her Aunt Melanie comes home early, and Odessa has a new worry: she might have to leave New York City and head back to Louisiana unless she and Izzy can find another place.
Blacke's love for Brooklyn shines through in her writing, which celebrates the anything-goes range of New York lifestyles and the particular hipster bent of Williamsburg. Odessa's coworkers are an appealing bunch, and Izzy is a stalwart friend (though Odessa suspects she's hiding something). A return visit to the escape room provides fresh insight, and despite a couple of minor plot points that border on implausible, this second fish-out-of-water NYC adventure is great fun. Readers will want to pull up a seat at Untapped Books and order the day's special from Chef Parker (while hoping grumpy manager Todd is distracted by his Tinder dates). Odessa's roots may be pure Louisiana bayou, but her adventures in Brooklyn make for entertaining reading. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams