Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review: A Justified Bitch by H.G. McKinnis

A Justified Bitch by H.G. McKinnis
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Publisher:  Imbrifex Books 
Genre: Mystery & Thriller & Suspense
Source: Received from Smith Publicity in exchange for honest review


It takes a guilty bastard to make a justified bitch.

When a severed finger shows up on her doorstep in a seedy section of Las Vegas, Helen Taylor does not freak out. She’s already crazy, as evidenced by her junk-stuffed house and its ever-growing population of cats. There’s also Bobby, her long-dead husband. Helen talks to him regularly, and Bobby talks back.

The finger and the brutal murder it reveals are more than a hoarding cat lady with a phantom husband can ignore. Helen’s a suspect, and she ends up in jail. Summoned by the detective on the case, Helen’s sister Pat arrives from Phoenix with two teen-age boys in tow.

While Helen is AWOL from a mental facility, another gruesome murder is discovered. Pat, the boys, and the detective struggle to separate fact from insanity, but it takes power beyond the ordinary to bring the truth to light.

My Thought’s:

Do NOT judge this book by it's cover or title! It definitely is a murder mystery book and I'm not quite sure why this title and cover were chosen. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery book. If you like a realistic murder mystery then this is the book for you. Without giving to much away Las Vegas was described well along with the characters. 

Author Q&A
1.       You live in Las Vegas, and thats also where your book is set. Why do you think this city provides such a rich backdrop for storytelling.

For starters, Las Vegas is a 24-hour town. Where else can you golf or go bowling at two in the morning and follow it up with a meal at a nice restaurant before sunrise?  Another amazing feature is that, as a resident, I dont really have to travel. The whole world comes here not only to gamble and drop inhibitions, but to conduct business, get married, and go to school. For a relatively young city, Las Vegas has a rich, fascinating history. Who would have thought that a tiny Mormon fort surrounded by desert would grow into a metropolis of two million in just over a century? Add in mobsters, showgirls, and nuclear physicists testing bombs, and you get a history thats any novelists dream. Ill never run out of stories.

2.       Without giving too much away, what would you say is the main conflict in A Justified Bitch?

Helens overabundance of cats and ever-increasing hoard have reached critical levels, but her familyout of town and busy with their livesare unaware of the growing complexities of her situation. When Helen is entangled in a murder investigation, the family can no longer look the other way. As they struggle to rescue Helen, they must reexamine their own relationships and identities.

3.       Most books that really connect with readers speak to some universal truths. What universal truths are illustrated or discussed in your book.

Siblings are a pain in the ass!

Seriously, familial relationships are complex and demanding. They also shape our identities.

4.       Can you tell readers how your personal background and experience informed your writing for A Justified Bitch.

Ive lived in Las Vegas all my life and have answered the siren call of swap meets and thrift stores since I was a teenager. Because Las Vegas has a diverse and transient population, treasure hunting at bargain venues is always extra-rewarding.

Losing my husband has given me insight into the mental gymnastics needed to keep the pain at bay. Im no Helen, but I have no trouble understanding how hoarding helped her cope with her loss.

5.       Why did you choose to write about a hoarder.

Ive met a number of hoarders in my life. I noticed early on that they all had interesting and complex back stories. Many people are unaware of the hoarders in their own lives. Ashamed, hoarders hide their condition to avoid embarrassment.

6.       Is it possible to have a normal life in Las Vegas?

Youre asking a fish to describe water! Ive lived here most of my life. I feel comfortable, productive, and normal. And so do all the other nude dressers Ive worked with!

7.       In A Justified Bitch, we notice the characters going through financial hardship and the toll it takes on them. In your opinion, how does the economy affect the lives of everyday people?

An entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to work hard are hallmarks of many Las Vegans. The glamor of the city is a show we put on for tourists, and it takes legions of committed and diligent people to produce the experience visitors expect. When the economy sours and jobs dry up, we all have a choice: double down or leave town. It makes me proud that the prevailing attitude among true Las Vegans is: work harder.


I grew up in Las Vegas where attending grade school meant hanging out with the children of scientists, cocktail waitresses and dealers. As children we all went to the strip to see shows in the hotels, eat in the restaurants and eye the tourists. Even at a very young age I knew our city was special. After graduating from UNLV, I worked for a number of years as a nude dresser in various production shows on the strip. Nude dancers aren’t actually naked. They may dance without bras, but make up for the privilege by loading themselves down with many pounds of feathers, rhinestones and sequins.

After the last big feather show closed, I started retraining as an Audio Visual Technician. Learning about the new electronic equipment we use to enhance the convention meeting experience fascinates me. Las Vegas is an unconventional town, and it provides me with endless opportunities and excitement.

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