Quarter to Midnight by Karen Rose



After completing her tours with the Marines in Iraq, Molly Sutton knew she could take down any bad guy she met. But when her law enforcement agency in North Carolina turned against her, she joined up with her former CO Burke Broussard, who left New Orleans PD to set up a private investigative service for people who couldn’t find justice elsewhere.

Gabe Hebert saw the toll that working for the NOPD took on his dad and decided instead to make a name for himself as one of the best young chefs in the French Quarter. But when his father’s death is ruled a suicide after a deliberately botched investigation, Gabe knows his dad stumbled onto a truth that someone wants silenced.

Gabe goes to his father’s best friend, Burke, for help. Burke assigns the toughest member of his team, Molly, to the case. Molly can’t believe she’s being asked to work with the smoking hot chef whose chocolate cake is not the only thing that makes her mouth water. Sparks fly as they follow the leads Gabe’s dad left them, unraveling a web of crimes, corruption, and murder that runs all the way to the top.


Quarter to Midnight is the first novel in a new series set in New Orleans and is a slight departure in the sense our leading man, Gabe Hebert, is not in law enforcement and our leading lady, Molly Sutton, is a private investigator.

Gabe Hebert is shattered by the death of his father but he doesn’t believe the verdict that his father committed suicide and asks his father’s friend, Burke Broussard, now a private investigator, to look into his father’s death as he does not trust the police. Burke assigns Molly Sutton, a former marine, to protect Gabe and the pair are instantly attracted to each other. Molly has moved to New Orleans to start a new life with her sister after a traumatic incident saw Molly shooting her police officer brother-in-law in self-defence. However, Molly can’t afford to let romance distract her as she has to focus on keeping Gabe safe. As the investigation continues, people close to Gabe find themselves in danger and old secrets begin to re-surface.

As well as Molly and Gabe, we are introduced to a whole host of new characters who form the family dynamic that Rose likes to have in her books as well as being potential leading characters in future novels. Thankfully the numbers are lower in this novel as some of the previous books had way too many people included which made it hard to keep track. There are also appearances from characters we met previously in the Sacramento series and a cameo from a character from the Chicago series.

The elements of the plot are suspenseful enough but the main villain had to be one of the least interesting we’ve ever had in the Rose canon and there were no chills despite a high body count. The leading characters were not as engaging either and their romance just didn’t spark as it should have to the extent I found myself skipping past their intimate senses. My favourite character was actually Willa Mae, an older lawyer, with a sassy attitude, and hope she manages to make a reappearance at some point as she probably has a few good stories to tell.

The setting in New Orleans was also disappointing as I didn’t really feel it was exploited enough and it just seemed like we were in a generic city in the States. There are other authors I’ve read who have the ability to make you feel like you are in a place with descriptive prose full of sights, sounds and smells but Rose only scratched the surface. I will continue to read this series though as I’ve already bought the next books but it is a disappointing start.