Easy Street by Elizabeth Sims is book 4 in the Lillian Byrd Crime Series and one of my favourites. All of the books in this series can be read/listened to as stand alone however I recommend you start from the first book Holy Hell and make your way through all of them. They are a fun ride.
In this one we have an even more emotional ride than we have had up to now and it was brilliant. Lillian’s Chevrolet Caprice is coming to the end of its life; her pet rabbit, Todd, is old and she is still single and broke. To earn a little bit of extra cash Lillian helps her friend, retired police detective, Erma Porrocks to do some house renovations. From the blurb: The end of her first day on the job yields a partially demolished wall, a mysterious stash of cash, and a fresh corpse. And Lillian’s attentions are diverted by the appearance of a drop-dead gorgeous neighbor. In trying to figure out the twisted facts, Lillian uncovers greed, deception, and love, not necessarily in that order!
Sims writes entertaining stories full of interesting characters. A number of recurring favorites grace the pages of this one which is always fun and the new characters are a delightful addition.
The Writing Style
I love the way Elizabeth Sims puts together the mystery. Just when you think Lillian is at the peak of what she can take, Sims adds something new. It may be terrible of me but I love it.
The narration is really good for this series. Dina Pearlman does a fab job of getting the tone of the book right so that you really feel the story rather than just hearing it.
I just love Lou and I was so happy to see her not just returning but getting a small storyline of her own. She is a fantastic butch character and I delight in her antics.
This one made me cry. I won’t tell you why because it will spoil the plot for you but I was really sad at one point. This in its own right is a testament to how invested I have become in the series.
There is some violence which is to be expected, considering that it’s a murder mystery, but it’s limited and not really a con for me. I am giving you the heads up if you are squeamish about these things.
You should absolutely add the Lillian Byrd Crime Series to your list of audiobooks or eBooks. The characters are delightfully quirky and unique. Each story is engaging and very different from one another. Easy street is no exception and in fact so far it is my absolute favorite of the series.
Excerpt from Easy Street by Elizabeth Sims
“I’ve always wanted a view of the water, and you know there’s nothing like that in the city except for high-rises. Now that I’m retiring, well I got an opportunity to buy this place–rather suddenly, actually, and it was such a good deal I went for it. It’s a nice house, good bones, like they say in the magazines. But it needs work–quite a bit of work. I think somebody with a temper lived there.”
“Yeah?” I wondered what her point was going to be. In a promoting way I said, “Is it one of those bootlegger places?”
During Prohibition, Smugglers ran so much illegal Canadian booze into Detroit and all its shoreline communities you could’t spit into the river without hitting some guy in a fast motorboat. And you couldn’t toss a Daisy into a police squad room without hitting somebody on the take. It was a high time all around.
“Oh!” said Porrocks. “Well, I don’t know. It does have a boathouse.”
Smugglers coveted the houses on the waterfront with private docks for obvious reasons. The boss smugglers would buy these places for cash from some prosperous haberdasher or car dealer, then do the modifications in the dead of night. You’d hear about places with secret passageways from the waterline into hidden cellars, then tunnels to the alley or to a neighboring house. I’d always hoped to get a look at a place like that.
Porrocks got a little more intense. “How have you been, Lillian?”
“Well–fine, Erma. Just fine.”
“Really. What are you living on?” Porrocks had a little dry voice, but it carried authority. I haven’t yet mentioned that she was a high–level judo expert, so good at leveraging her modest weight and strength that she taught special classes at the police academy on how to subdue obstreperous suspects without bone-breaking violence. Now and then I’d wondered about her private life.
“Yea,” I said, “I’m–I’m working on some, uh, some ideas for–for all these magazines that are interested in my work, you know. And, uh, I’m into my music.”
“Yes, I’ve seen you playing on the streets.” She was looking at me so steadily that I got a little nervous. “Lillian, why don’t you get a job?”
“Oh, God, Erm.” A hot blotch of shame crept up my neck. “Look, I just have to go my own way. You know. I’m trying to–I have some things going.” How embarrassing. I hadn’t though my circumstances showed that much.
“Your clothes are shabby.” She was looking at the cuffs of my jeans.
“But clean. A lot of people wear frayed clothes. It’s the style.”
“Come on. Even your shoes are frayed.”
Get This Book On Amazon
Other books in this series
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9780692351741
- Publisher: Spruce Park Press
- Audiobook Publisher: Audible Studios
- Narrator: Dina Pearlman
Elizabeth Sims Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Easy Street by Elizabeth Sims. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.