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Avoidable Contact by Tammy Kaehler

I have been a fan of Tammy Kaehler’s since the publication of her first Kate Reilly Mystery, “Dead Man’s Switch” in 2011.  “Avoidable Contact” is the third novel in this series, and the best yet.  In the course of the first three novels Kate has grown from a rookie who lacks confidence and credibility at times to a mature, respected race car driver capable of pouring on the speed to support her team  and able to put together the clues of a murder mystery with equal finesse.

In “Avoidable Contact” Kate must ignore the fact that her love interest, Stuart, is seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident shortly before the start of the Daytona 24 hour race so that she can concentrate on her role as one of the three drivers for one of her team’s Corvette cars.   In between the adrenaline rush of racing Kate and her friend Holly nose around Pit Row trying to help the police discover clues to who purposely ran down Stuart.  A tragedy on the tracks appears to also be suspicious and may be related to Stuart’s attack.

The racing circuit provides a perfect venue for the thrills and chills of a first class mystery.  The action is naturally fast-paced and dangerous.  The race car drivers and the people who hang around them have big, interesting personalities that make for lots of descriptive color in the book.  Story arcs are also quite naturally segmented around the routines required to drive, relax and gear up again for the next shift behind the wheel.

As a reader I felt as if I had a Pit Row pass and was following Kate’s every move both on and off the race track.

Kate Reilly fans will love the addition to the series with “Avoidable Contact” and the series is bound to make many new fans with this book.

Liz Nichols

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