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I am happy to report there is a new female detective series (at least, I hope it’s a series!) starting in the tradition of V.I. Warshawski, Carlotta Carlyle, Sharon McCone, and others. In Ingrid Thoft's debut, Loyalty, we are introduced to Fina Ludlow and her family.
Fina's part of a dysfunctional family of lawyers but she has always been the black sheep of the family. She abandoned law school and her father now has her working in the family’s firm as an investigator. When her sister-in-law disappears, she's appointed by the family to find out what's happened. It's quite a ride getting to know Fina's family and following all the twists in the case.
I liked the character and look forward to getting to know Fina better. Ingrid Throft was born in Boston but now lives here in Seattle (she moved out here specifically to go to the University of Washington to get her private eye’s certification – according to the back of the advance copy I read). The only thing I wish is that instead of Boston that it had been set here in Seattle. There are too many local authors writing about other places and I would love to see more books set here. We are hoping for a signing when the book is published.— Adele
July 2013 Indie Next List
“Flunking out of law school was probably the best thing that happened to Fina Ludlow. Ludlow and Associates' most interesting work was not being done by their lawyers but by their lead investigator, Frank Gillis. So Fina learns her trade from Frank, taking over his role when he leaves the firm. Private investigation is an ideal fit for Fina: she can keep her own hours, roam the streets, and carry a gun. Discreet and devious, her favorite combination, gets her through a lot of doors, that and her skill with a lock pick. Fina's family loyalty was strong but even family can stretch the rules as well as the law. When her sister-in-law goes missing and her niece locks her bedroom door at night Fina has to decide which side she is on: family loyalty or the truth. Don't miss this debut novel by an author who actually has a degree in private investigation. Thoft has created a female detective who is tough, fair-minded, determined and possessing a biting sense of humor. Hopefully, Loyalty is the beginning of a gripping new series.”
— Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI
"Kinsey Millhone, you've got competition. This firecracker of a series starter is a perfect summer read. It introduces Fina Ludlow, the in-house private investigator for her family's ethically shaky lawfirm. What starts as a search for her missing sister-in-law uncovers bombshells and twisted family secrets."
The Ludlows are a hard-charging family, and patriarch Carl Ludlow treats his offspring like employees which they are. But his daughter, Fina, is a bit of a black sheep. A law school dropout, her father keeps her in the fold as the firm's private investigator, working alongside her brothers.
Juggling her family of high-powered (and highly dysfunctional) attorneys, the cops and Boston's criminal element is usually something Fina does without breaking a sweat. But when her sister-in-law disappears, she's caught up in a case unlike any she's encountered before.
Carl wants things resolved without police interference, but the deeper Fina digs, the more impossible that seems. The Ludlows close ranks, and her brother Rand and his unruly teenage daughter Haley grow mysteriously distant from the family. As Fina unearths more dirt, the demands of family loyalty intensify. But Fina is after the truth no matter the cost.
"Kinsey Millhone, you've got competition. This firecracker of a series starter is a perfect summer read. It introduces Fina Ludlow, the in-house private investigator for her family's ethically shaky law firm. What starts as a search for her missing sister-in-law uncovers bombshells and twisted family secrets. " — Entertainment Weekly
"What starts, in Thoft’s dazzling first novel, as a missing-persons case for Boston PI Fina Ludlow—the search for her sister-in-law, Melanie—swells through layers of familial secrets, lies, and betrayals to something approaching Greek tragedy....Readers will be eager to see more of smash-mouth Fina, a hard-boiled throwback equally comfortable shooting from the hip or the lip."
— Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Thoft’s promising debut introduces a significantly flawed but tough new PI and offers up compelling suspense, while the smooth prose keeps things moving right along….This mystery wrapped in family drama should please fans of contemporary suspense of the more hard-boiled sort.”
— Library Journal
“(Fina) Ludlow has the shrewdness of her parents and siblings but she has compassion, too. Fans of the Kinsey Millhone mysteries will enjoy this engaging debut.”
"LOYALTY's Fina Ludlow is my hero. If I were in a bad spot, I'd want her at my back. Don't miss it."
— # 1 New York Times-bestselling author Catherine Coulter
"In her debut novel, Ingrid Thoft gives us Fina Ludlow, the newest private eye to prowl Boston's mean streets. Fina returns the female detective to the heart of the hard-boiled tradition: hard-drinking, hard-loving, moody. Writer Ingrid Thoft has given her a dysfunctional extended family that rivals the Ewings of Dallas fame, which adds a dimension not often seen in the PI novel." — New York Times-bestselling author Sara Paretsky