Review: Two Guys Detective Agency

Two Guys Detective Agency
By Stephanie Bond
195 pgs
Published June 11, 2013

**Minor Spoilers Ahead**
Two Guys Detective Agency is not a story about two guys running a detective agency, but rather two ladies from Kentucky. Two sisters who went from leading 2 very different ordinary lives, to now leading one life forever changed by tragic circumstances now filled with mystery. Linda Guy & Octavia Guy are Two Guys Detective Agency.

Stephanie Bond was pursuing an engineering career when an instructor remarked that she had a flair for writing and suggested that she submit to academic journals. Upon completing her master’s degree and with no formal training in writing (her undergraduate degree is in computer programming), she started writing a romance novel in her spare time. Two years later in 1995 she sold her first manuscript, a romantic comedy, to Harlequin Books. In 1997, with ten sales under her belt to two publishers, Stephanie left her corporate job to write fiction full-time. She went on to write romance and mystery novels for Random House, St. Martin’s Press, and HarperCollins. In 2011, Stephanie launched a self-publishing business. Her stories are more on the humorous, but have an amazing ability to weave humor and tragedy seamlessly. 

Our story begins with Linda, a housewife in the suburbs, chasing away a squirrel from the bird feeder and getting her kids ready for school. It's as suburban as you can get, with women of the neighborhood doing group walks, and freshly mowed front lawns. The author, Stephanie Bond, does a great job in setting up the setting. While everything is in the ordinary, you soon realize the Smith house is out of the ordinary with half their home still in repair, and the piles of tools lying around. Money has become a troubling issue since Linda's husband, Sullivan, quit the force and became a private detective. At first the idea was hopeful, but with a lack of clientele it has put pressure on Linda's heart and mind especially since they have 2 kids to take care of.  As you read Linda's daily routine, you can feel that choke on your heart that she has when it comes to figuring out what will they do if this situation of theirs continues to go on. Stephanie Bond does a masterful job tugging on your heartstrings and provides a great monolog of Linda's thoughts. 

On the other side of the sisterly spectrum is Octavia. She was the popular sister, the outgoing one, the cheerleader and even a pageant queen at one time. Unlike her sister she married a wealthy lawyer and spends her time spending his money. She lives in a mansion on the outskirts of town, has maids, and the finest clothes money can buy. From her dialogue when you are introduced to her you would think she was a born socialite and not someone who married into the lifestyle. Unlike her sister, Octavia’s compassion has its limits and she has no problem looking down on others, even her own sister. Ms Bond writes her as that stereotypical rich woman that doesn’t have a care in the world. But it's when tragedy strikes her as well is when you really get to see who Octavia is. A crass, cunning, and unapologetic woman who won't let anyone stand in her way.

With 2 very different lives they don't exactly make time to say hello to each, maybe the occasional card on the holidays and birthday. So what brings these two polar opposite sisters together is a death in the family. What keeps them together however is another mystery and more debt.

Stephanie Bond does a great job fleshing out each character giving them their own unique voices. She paints every scene almost like a painter and sets the mood for every scene really well. The mystery that brings the sisters together is a great puzzler as well. She really knows how to keep the reader enthralled with the entire situation. You find yourself genuinely worried about the characters and surprised by every twist and turn she throws at you leading to a very satisfying ending. The book is definitely worth picking up and adding to your collection. Two very different and yet strong female leads who go from depending on their significant other, to being the ones that everyone is relying on to take care of everything. Linda and Octavia don’t feel like helpless damsels at all, but rather 2 females who are playing the role that they are giving. Once their circumstances had changed their characters felt like they broke out of that shell and became the women they were meant to be. I give this book 5 stars for the great characters and plot.   

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