Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
A wild adventure taking you places you never thought you’d go
The latest novel by Daniel Rehm, The Adventures of Philippine Maximine, P.I., combines a satisfying mix of crime, witchcraft, murder, mystery, and a heaping handful of bizarre events. Told in four parts that each take up a quarter of the book, this novel won’t have any trouble keeping you interested. In fact, you’ll probably struggle to put it down.
When Philippine Maximine agrees to take on a private investigating case deep in northern back country, she doesn’t really know what she’s getting into. A Louisiana woman with no fear of saying exactly what she’s thinking, Philippine makes sure to make her presence known wherever she goes, and isn’t afraid to pull out her pistol at a moment’s notice.
But she is a fish out of water in this new environment. Her outspoken nature is exactly the thing that creates sticky situations, and it doesn’t take long for trouble to start finding her after she takes this job.
While this northern back country job is the first case she takes on in this book, it sure isn’t the last. Her tasks continue to increase as she hunts down cheating spouses, runs from murderous gardeners, adopts a cat, escapes a near death in the woods, and more. Readers even dive deep into her magical childhood in the South. Author Daniel Rehm packs a lot into this novel, and while it may seem like a smorgasbord of random events, they all flow together nicely.
When I started this book, I didn’t know what to expect. I love P.I. mysteries, and I felt ready for whatever kind of adventures the title was teasing me about, but I had no idea just how crazy this story was about to get. It took me only a few dozen pages for me to be completely enthralled in the mystery.
In part one, Philippine is galavanting in the woods trying to stay alive. In part two, she’s back in the city tracking millionaires who are trying to get away with cheating on their spouses. And this is all happening while Philippine herself is being hunted by a mysterious assassin.
Part three picks up in an entirely different setting, the local mall, where a couple of employees have recently gone missing. In this section of the story, we’re introduced to some magical aspects that carry us into the final part of the book where Philippine’s Creole past is unearthed. Each of the four parts of this story can stand entirely on their own, and yet they discreetly weave their way in and out of each other. Rehm’s attention to detail and wild creativity shines.
What stands out the most here is Rehm’s ability to create a cohesive story while also telling separate stories. For a book that’s just over 350 pages long, each chapter is essential to the overall story as well as the separate smaller story. There are no wasted moments.
Big twists and turns happen often because of the way the stories are broken up. Instead of one climax around 80% into the book, we get multiple—and some even as soon as 20%.
This structure demands our attention, giving us a fun and worthwhile challenge to take on.
Book lovers of all interests will find something to like about The Adventures of Philippine Maximine, P.I. It’s thrilling, mysterious, scary, crime-filled, action packed, and even funny at times. You’ll appreciate Rehm’s masterful attention to detail while you fall in love with his characters. I can see myself rereading this book and catching the little things I might have missed that draw even more connection between each part of the book. If you’re looking for a new read with a great female lead and endless mystery, do I have the book for you.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Print Length: 356 pages
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