Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

The Missing Ink, by Karen E. Olson

The Missing Ink (Tattoo Shop Series #1)Finished 12-16-11, rating 4.75/5, mystery, 299 pages, pub. 2009

Book 1, Tatoo Shop series

“Can I help you, Officer?” I politely asked his profile.  I knew how to talk to cops: Keep it cordial, no sudden moves.

He was studying the frosted letters on the window, his hands on his hips.  He didn’t look ready to grab the gun or the nightstick that flanked his stocky frame.  He turned his head slowly, his mouth set in a grim line, eyes narrowed as they settled on my face.

It unsettled me.  Usually people stared at the ink on my left arm-a detailed replica on Monet’s water lily garden, complete with a weeping willow and footbridge-or the dragon that creeps up over my right breast under my tank top.

Chapter 1

Brett Kavanaugh, owner of The Painted Lady tattoo shop in Las Vegas, is the last person to have seen a prominent runaway bride.  Brett is caught up in the mystery and finds herself doing some investigative work of her own, leading her to a dead body and big trouble.  Her brother and roommate, Tim, is a detective and tries to save her from herself with limited success.  She also teams up with a rival tattooist and a sexy Brit who obviously knows way more than he should about the missing woman and the dead man.

Brett is awesome.  She owns her own tatoo shop, but she also has a fine art degree in painting, so she’s got credentials.  She moved out to Vegas when she needed to leave the east coast and remains unimpressed with all the trappings of Vegas.  She sees it as an illusion and that makes her a smart cookie.  She is independent (which leads to some dumb decisions) but relies on the help of her friend and co-worker, Joel.  She obviously is too brave for her own good or she wouldn’t be involved in the murderous mess at all.  What’s not to love?

I have no interest in getting a tatoo and I am no fan of Las Vegas (Was there once, stayed at the Four Seasons and the Luxor.  Was sick the entire week so maybe Vegas didn’t get a fair shake) so it was a bit of a surprise to me that I loved this book so much.  I’d seen all the positive reviews, but was turned off by the cover for some reason.  This will end up being one of my favorite books this year and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.  Who knows, maybe Brett will eventually convince me that tats are cool 🙂 (I do think that a high proportion of people with tattoos are cool, but remain less enamored with the tattoos themselves)

This book had the perfect voice and a strong mystery to make it a fast and fun read.

I checked this book out of the library.

December 20, 2011 - Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books |


  1. I’ve heard good things about this book and I love tattoos. I’m so glad you loved it, I’m looking forward to reading the series myself.

    Comment by VioletCrush | December 20, 2011 | Reply

  2. Sounds really good!

    Comment by Mary | December 20, 2011 | Reply

  3. This sounds like fun! Just ordered it for my Kindle…

    Comment by pinkim95 | December 20, 2011 | Reply

  4. I never would give this book a second thought had I not read your review. I agree, the cover isn’t compelling. But now I am very interested!

    Comment by rhapsodyinbooks | December 20, 2011 | Reply

  5. When I first starting seeing reviews of this one, I was a bit skeptical because I feel the same way you do about tattoos. So many people have loved it and the fact that it will be one of your favorites of the year has made me rethink i t.

    Comment by BermudaOnion | December 20, 2011 | Reply

  6. I just got my first ever tattoo earlier this year, so I must read this one. Been to Vegas a few times. It is was it is, and nothing more or spectacular.
    Excellent review Stacy.

    Comment by jennygirl | December 20, 2011 | Reply

  7. This is one I’ve been wanting to read. I really need to finally get around to it. I’ve never been to Vegas, but I do love tattoos.

    Comment by carol | December 22, 2011 | Reply

  8. i read this one a few years ago and really liked it. I thought the whole premise was very original!

    Comment by stacilifeinthethumb | December 24, 2011 | Reply

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  10. I think I have this one on my iPod. I do not like the cover at all either, but am so encourage by your words.

    Comment by Thoughts of Joy | December 30, 2011 | Reply

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