Most people would not find roaming through abandoned buildings and plodding through pouring rain a pleasurable use of their free time. Not Jasmine Ramsey, though. The heroine of Brecksville author Kylie Logan’s new mystery “The Scent of Murder,” Jazz is a cadaver dog handler without a dog.
In the first scene, Jazz is working with Luther, a borrowed dog, in a boarded-up building in the Flats. She’s doing a training exercise to see if Luther can find a tooth she’s hidden on the third floor. Luther proves to be exemplary at his job, because he finds the body of a young woman, dressed in black, with black nail polish, facial piercings, skeleton tattoos and skull rings.
Jazz gives a statement to a police detective, who happens to be her former boyfriend. It’s not until the end of their conversation that she reveals that she knew the victim, Florentine Allen, as a former student of the expensive private high school where Jazz is the administrative assistant to the principal. Florie had been a scholarship student; though no one had been supposed to know that, her clothes and address made it clear. Her grades and talent had gained her entry into a prestigious Cleveland design school, but her recent work had been failing.
Naturally, Jazz cannot restrain herself from investigating Florie’s death. Some of the school’s teachers and students remember Florie, and her former best friend’s sister is a student. Florie and the friend, Grace, had become bitter enemies and rivals at the design school. Jazz also finds that most people are very willing to answer her questions about an open police investigation.
The Cleveland color is noteworthy: Jazz lives in Tremont and dines with her brothers at Prosperity Social Club, catches an after-work drink with a friend at Grumpy’s Café and questions a witness at Great Lakes Brewing Co.
“The Scent of Murder” (320 pages, hardcover) costs $26.99 from Minotaur. According to the publisher, it’s the first in a new series. Kylie Logan also writes the League of Literary Ladies mystery series set on South Bass Island and, as Casey Daniels, other series include the fun Cleveland-set Pepper Martin mysteries.
Kylie Logan will sign “The Scent of Murder” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Learned Owl Book Shop, 204 N. Main St., Hudson.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Tallmadge branch, 1040 E. Tallmadge Ave.): Wade Meyer discusses “What Shall I Bring? Your Personal Cookbook for Visiting Friends,” 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday.
Market Garden Brewery (1947 W. 25th St., Cleveland): Salvatore Scibona, whose debut novel “The End” was a finalist for the National Book Award, reads from “The Volunteer,” about a Vietnam veteran coerced into becoming a government agent, and Halle Butler reads from her satire “The New Me,” about an underemployed woman struggling to improve her life, 7 p.m. Tuesday as part of the Brews + Prose Series.
Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson): Kylie Logan signs “The Scent of Murder,” 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday; Erika Gifford discusses her fantasy for young adults “Veil of the Phoenix,” 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Cuyahoga Falls Public Library (2015 Third St.): Former Cuyahoga Falls resident Marie Lambelet reads from her children's book "Maria the Matador," which she wrote and illustrated, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library (Coventry Village branch, 1925 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights): Varley O’Connor joins the Cedar-Coventry Author Series with her historical novel “The Welsh Fasting Girl,” about a 19th-century girl who claimed to have abstained from food, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Bay Village branch, 502 Cahoon Road): Sportswriter Terry Pluto talks about Cleveland sports and signs his books, including “The Browns Blues: Two Decades of Utter Frustration: Why Everything Kept Going Wrong for the Cleveland Browns,” 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Register at 440-871-6392.
Visible Voice Books (2258 Professor Ave., Cleveland): Cleveland resident Lara Lillibridge reads from “Mama, Mama, Only Mama: An Irreverent Guide for the Newly Single Parent,” joined by poet Laura Grace Weldon and writer Marsha McGregor, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Portage Lakes branch, 4261 Manchester Road): Tim Carroll signs “World War II Akron,” 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Barnes & Noble (28801 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere): Michelle Knight talks about her life after escaping from captivity and signs her book “Life After Darkness: Finding Healing and Happiness After the Cleveland Kidnappings,” 2 p.m. Saturday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Beachwood branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd.): Nick Trout and Rachael Lippincott observe National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. Lippincott’s young adult novel “Five Feet Apart,” based on the screenplay for the recent film, is about a teen who needs a lung transplant; Trout, a Boston veterinarian, is the author of “The Wonder of Lost Causes,” about the mother of a boy with CF who wants a dog, 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday. Register at 216-831-6868.
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or email@example.com. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.