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Sanctuary Motel by Alan Orloff

Mess Hopkins is a breath of fresh air! A motel owner who cares more about people than making money, he takes in Nicole and her teenage son, Kevin, for a few days as they try to make a fresh start away from abusive husband and step-father, Todd.

A diverse set of characters assist Mess when Nicole disappears. His friend Vell, a former basketball player, and Vell’s mom, a psychic, along with Mess’s new girlfriend Lia, and his motel manager, Cesar, become involved in what turns out to be not only a missing persons case and domestic abuse, but also a dangerous encounter with organized crime.

Author Alan Orloff’s witty writing style results in a fun, easy read. The dialogue flows smoothly, and Mess’ first-person narration is laugh-out-loud humorous. It reminds me of Janet Evanovich’s Plum series. Crime fiction with humor and a dash of romance.

I loved the setting with its typical old-style motel and run-down mini-golf course. There is just the right amount of description to help the reader visualize the scenes and get drawn into the center of the action.

If you love mysteries that are a mix of cozy and traditional, funny but with a touch of noir, this will be right up your alley. Good Samaritan and amateur sleuth, Mess Hopkins, won’t disappoint!

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