I initially picked up a copy of Renee George‘s Sense and Scent Ability as an Amazon freebie. But then I ended up borrowing an audio copy of it from Hoopla instead, so that I could listen to it as I did chores.
My name is Nora Black, and I’m fifty-one-years young. At least that’s what I tell myself, when I’m not having hot flashes, my knees don’t hurt, and I can find my reading glasses.
I’m also the proud owner of a salon called Scents & Scentsability in the small resort town of Garden Cove, where I make a cozy living selling handmade bath and beauty products. All in all, my life is pretty good.
Except for one little glitch…
Since my recent hysterectomy, where I died on the operating table, I’ve been experiencing what some might call paranormal activity. No, I don’t see dead people, but quite suddenly I’m triggered by scents that, in their wake, leave behind these vividly intense memories. Sometimes they’re unfocused and hazy, but there’s no doubt, they are very, very real.
Know what else? They’re not my memories. It seems I’ve lost a uterus and gained a psychic gift.
When my best friend’s abusive boyfriend ends up dead after a fire, and she becomes the prime suspect, I end up a babysitter to her two teenagers while she’s locked up in the clink. Add to that the handsome detective determined to stand in my way, my super sniffer’s newly acquired abilities and a rash of memories connected to the real criminal, and I find myself in a race to catch a killer before my best friend is tried for murder.
I thought this was a fine, middle of the road story and the narrator did a fine (if inconsistent) job with the audio. I liked Nora. I liked the decisions to let her be a 50+ year old woman who decided not to have children and that not be a point of contention in the novel. I liked the younger potential romantic partner. I liked the female friendships and that there isn’t any jealous among them.
I did think Nora (who’s 51) feels too infirm for the age. Sure, as the body gets older, there’s the occasional ache or pain. But she sounds like she’s far older, if her failing body is anything to go by. Sometimes I feel like aches, pains, and a leaky bladder are the only things authors can think of to signal a middle-aged or above woman. And as Nora hasn’t had children the bladder is off the table as an option. So, I guess George had no other option than to focus on her achy knees…or something.
All in all, the book did the job of keeping me distracted and I’d read another one.