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The Arrangement by M Ravenel [Book review]

Title: The Arrangement

Author: Marie Ravenel

Source: Chikara Press

Publish date: 9th March 2021

First of all I would like to say a huge thank you to the author for offering me a chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest and open review. It is a huge privilege to be allowed to share your thoughts on someones work, I know how much work goes into writing a novel so I am extremely thankful! So onto the story.....


Another case has fallen onto the desk of Tootsie Carter; a female detective armed with a snub-nosed Colt .38, unmatchable wit, and a pocketful of Tootsie Rolls.

New York City, 1975

A missing wife. The seedy underbelly of the boxing world. Lace your gloves and ring the bell, PI Tootsie Carter is on the case.

When a desperate man stumbles into her office, pleading for help locating his wife, Tootsie launches into the investigation.

Following the clues, she uncovers a boxing racketeer with a deadly agenda. Can Tootsie deliver the one-two punch that brings the woman home safe? Or will more bodies fall to the mats?

My thoughts

Well if you enjoy a feisty, hard nosed, kick ass, stand for no nonsense, says what she thinks and doesn't care what anyone thinks of her detective.... then this book will be right up your street! This is a fantastic debut novel by M.Ravenel. I became immersed into the dynamic life of Detective 'Tootsie' Carter and fully enjoyed her exploits.

The story is set in the 1970s describing a dark and seedy side of New York. The crime levels are high and the city seems on the brink of collapse. Tootsie is one strong, capable ex-cop turned Detective, and much like her idol Dick Tracey is very good at what she does. The story focuses on a case she is hired for, a missing woman. The case leads her to a crime ring exploiting the boxing trade and she has limited time to find her missing person and unveil the other criminal activity which she stumbles across during her investigation.

Her character has just the right amount of sass and spirit needed to survive in her role. As the book is set in the 70s it touches on the fact that back then her role as a female detective was a rarity and it highlights the difficulties faced by Tootsie, with males underestimating her strength. She clearly is passionate about her work and bringing bad guys to justice. Her character also has a hint of youth in amidst the strong wise exterior. We get the odd glimpse of some vulnerability which makes her more likeable. She may be tough in the face of the chauvinist males she meets daily but she still has a gentle caring side.

The storyline is well paced and has enough intrigue, character and 70s style cop drama to keep the reader invested. I liked the sideline characters, they will be a fun band of misfits to follow along in future Tootise books. Her relationship with both Mitts and Roy was interesting and I will be intrigued to see how they develop as the series progresses. It would be good to learn a little more about their history too, how they all came together and why they look out for each other in such a way.

I look forward to seeing what further delights are in store for her in coming novels, this is definitely one I recommend!

About the author

M. Ravenel is the author of the Plainclothes Tootsie mystery series featuring a tough, snarky private eye from 1970s New York City.

When not writing, reading, or working out, Ravenel enjoys watching Golden Age hard-boiled and noir detective films.

Ravenel may sometimes be spotted wearing a signature trench coat and fedora while penning the next Plainclothes Tootsie story on a typewriter-inspired keyboard.

You can find out more at or follow on twitter @mravenelauthor

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