Book review of Bad Beat (Starring-Antonio-Cruz) by J Fields Jr

Delightful Romp (4.5 stars)

Bad Beat is the second book in the Antonio Cruz series. The first was Casino Shuffle. They can be read in either order. I loved them both.

Antonio is a butler, but not just any butler. He is a perfect butler with many talents. He works at a hotel/casino and deals with everything from personnel problems to murder mystery. He reminds me slightly of Jeeves (from the P. G. Wodehouse stories) but with a darker twist.

In this book, a guest is found dead in his room in the casino. Was it suicide or something much more sinister? While Antonio works at making sense of this he also needs to deal with new casino management who may be out to get him. Then there are his love life complications.

There are plenty of laughs along the way with enough tension to satisfy my murder mystery / crime appetite.

There were minor editing errors (typos, missing words, etc.) but not enough to interfere with the reading pleasure. Indeed, it provided some extra humor because of the note at the end of the book: “Editing Services provided by Mr. Jim Parish at …” So, hey, Jim, you missed a few! Of course, perhaps Jim is the kind of editor who doesn’t do proofreading. If so, he might want to add a disclaimer.

I was not completely satisfied with the ending. It didn’t resolve as well as I would have liked and it left some comeuppances dangling that I hope will be dealt with in a future novel.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and look forward to more.