Private Spies by P. J. Nunn

Private Spies by P. J. Nunn Purchase:

    P.J. Nunn has written a clear winner. 

    When Jesse Morgan’s boss and best friend died, she inherited Private Spies, a private investigation firm that specializes in missing persons. Unfortunately, she knew little about the business aside from her intensive work on the computer. But if Joey thought she could handle it, she felt obligated to at least give it a try. How hard could it be, right?

    So Jesse took on her first case. Very straightforward. This guy is missing, find him. Oh but wait, he also kidnapped his own daughter. Find her too. Still not that hard. Except when she ran his report, the picture she found on his drivers license is of another guy. And when she found a guy who matched the first picture, he had another name. And when she found a girl that looked like the daughter, she didn’t match anything. Not good.

    Enter a retired police officer named Byron (really?) who says before Joey died, he hired him to work for them. Ok. This might be helpful. But then came a stalker, and a dead guy, a dead duck and an increasing list of incidents that all seem confusing to Jesse. Up to her eyeballs in threats and questions, Jesse’s outraged when the woman who hired her decides to fire her. Unbelievable! Unable to stop at that point, Jesse is determined to find the guy and solve the case. If only it was as easy as it sounded.

    About the Author:

    P. J. Nunn
    P. J. Nunn

    As with most things, PJ Nunn’s career started out as something else entirely. She started out in retail then moved to property management. That led to teaching high school, then serving as a counselor and liaison to the local police youth services division. She also spent five years as chairperson of the Coryell County Child Welfare Board and spent years counseling abuse victims and serving law enforcement as a trauma counselor and consultant (something she still does today). When she moved to Dallas, a family illness caused her to leave a job teaching psychology at Dallas County Community College District to become a freelance writer, but found that a few favors she was doing for friends—writing press releases and setting up book signings—was better suited to her talents and her drives.

    In 1998, she founded BreakThrough Promotions, now a national public relations firm helping authors, mostly of mystery novels, publicize themselves and their work. The business is thriving and PJ is excited about the release of her first novel, Angel Killer. PJ lives with her husband some of their five children near Dallas, TX. Learn more at

    Review by IrmaJane:

    I was hooked from the first page of Private Spies, when I read about “crawdads in the creek” (because, even though most people refer to the little beasties as crayfish or crawfish, here in the Carolinas we call ’em crawdads too.) I stayed hooked through the last page of this excellent first entry of the Jesse Morgan Mystery series.

    The book begins with Jesse getting her first case, for the P.I. firm she inherited from Joey, her boss and best friend. (Prior to this, she did all of her snooping on the web, and Joey did all of the legwork.) The missing-persons case quickly becomes complicated, when Jesse discovers that all of the “facts” she was told are actually fiction. While these complications are coming to light, another “complication” named Byron (a retired cop and college buddy of Joey) walks in the office door, stating that Joey hired him ― but neglected to tell Jesse. I won’t reveal any more about the mysterious missing-persons case Jesse and Byron are working on (no spoilers here, remember?), so you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens.

    Jesse is very likable, a three-dimensional well-written character. Byron is also well-written, a tall, dark and handsome hunk-and-a-half with long dark hair, very caring and considerate of Jesse, with a wicked-good sense of humor. The only fault I can find in this book is that it lacks illustrations of Byron. (Is it just me, or has it gotten hot in here?) Bernice, the office manager, has a supporting role in the plot, but her characterization is not flat or dull by any means. The reader gets a sense of who she is and why she acts as she does; the same is true of the other supporting characters.

    P.J. Nunn has written a clear winner of a book, an excellent beginning to the (long, I hope) Jesse Morgan Mystery series. If you like the Stephanie Plum series, I think you’ll like Jesse Morgan also. Just think of Jesse as Stephanie’s Texas cousin. I give Private Spies five stars, and highly recommend it!