The Missing Ink by Karen E Olson: Review

Brett Kavanaugh left her life in New England behind to open a high-end tattoo shop in Las Vegas. The Painted Lady serves a classy clientele who want a permanent souvenir of their visit, so Brett isn't surprised when a stereotypical rich girl asks for a devotion tattoo. She arranges an appointment but never shows. Brett doesn't think too much of it, until the girl turns up missing. Even more intriguing- the name in the tattoo wasn't her fiance's.

When a large tattooed man starts following Brett around, she wonders just who this girl is and what happened to her. A little investigating leads her to a millionaire, a competitor, a dead body and an Englishman. What do these things have in common? Brett, with a little help from her loyal employees, is determined to find out and find the girl.

I can't say enough how much fun The Missing Ink by Karen E Olson is! Many of you know Karen wrote the Annie Seymour series, but in The Missing Ink she tries something different. Brett is a softer touch than Annie but she's still a strong female protagonist. She's an artist with a needle. I love her style (I think I want a tattoo now- a little bit). And the Vegas setting was a riot. Where else can you find a bar full of karaoke Elvises?

A quirky mix of secondary characters adds a bit of humour to the story: Joel is a big lovable guy who has a love for haute couture, Bitsy is a tiny seductress and nosy to boot, Ace never met a mirror he didn't like. Tim, Brett's cop brother, is fed up with her meddling ways but they have to share living space. To add a little romantic interest, Brett meets a suave hotel manager with piercing brown eyes. I can't wait to see where that's going to go.

The Missing Ink isn't so much a whodunit as a whydunit. As usual, Karen leads us around in circles leaving clues here and there until it all comes together at the end. I'm already looking forward to the second book in the series, Pretty in Ink.

One more thing- I love the cover. I don't know who the artist was but it's really beautiful.

Highly recommended.

Stay tuned for a guest post from Karen E Olson tomorrow on book-a-rama!


  1. This does sound like a terrifically fun book!

  2. Thanks for the great review! And the cover artist is Craig Phillips; he's amazing and I can't wait to see what he does for Pretty in Ink.

    And hot off the presses: Today I signed on to write two more tattoo shop mysteries. The third will be DRIVEN TO INK and should come out sometime late 2010 or early 2011.

  3. This is the first review I've read for the book and so glad to see you liked it! I came across the book somewhere..The Lipstick Chronicles blog maybe..and due to it being about a tattoo artist I was instantly interested. I ran out and bought my copy already and now I really can't wait to read it!

  4. Kathy- It was!

    Karen- Can't wait to see the new cover. Congrats!!! That's great news!

    Kris- I hope you enjoy it!

  5. I'll have to keep my eye out for this one. It sounds fun.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  6. This looks fun. I will have to keep it in mind. :)

  7. It does look fun. I enjoyed the Annie series, this one sounds even more up my alley.

  8. This sounds great! I've never read anything by this author before but I am looking forward to it now!


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