In the opening chapters of A Deadly Business by Lis Wiehl with April Henry, Seattle prosecutor Mia Quinn experiences one of the worst days of her life and embarks on two new investigations, one professional and one personal. The latter is forced on her when Detective Charlie Carlson discovers evidence that her husband’s death, seven months before, may not have been an accident. Charlie is determined to help Mia discover the truth, whether she wants to or not. The result is an emotional story that’s hard to put down.
A Deadly Business is the second book in the Mia Quinn Mystery series. Each of the mysteries is self-contained within each book; Mia solves her cases, making her boss and her readers happy. It’s her personal story that we get to follow from book to book. Mia is a strong character. She’s a newly widowed mother of two, forced to go back to work to provide for her family and to pay off debts discovered after her husband’s death. She has a lot to juggle, but she always fights for what is right for her family, for her community, for victims who need justice.
In this book, however, one thing Mia has to determine is who needs justice most. When a teenage prank goes horribly wrong, Mia must determine whether or not to try the boys as adults. This opens dialogue into one of the social justice themes of this book: at what point (if ever) does society give up on someone, lock them up, and throw away the key? Wiehl and Henry use other criminals in the book to add considerations to the debate. They also bring in other related issues for readers to think about as they enjoy the story: election integrity, media influence, society’s responsibility to care for those who can’t care for themselves—limitations and the overwhelming burden, the slippery path of seemingly harmless wrong choices. Wiehl and Henry don’t give clear answers, rather they explore the many facets of each issue, presenting angles of which readers may not be aware.
I’m looking forward to reading about Mia’s next case and to learning the outcome of some of the personal decisions she made in this book. If you enjoy a thought-provoking mystery, I recommend A Deadly Business. Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.