The Black Orchid Girls – Book Review

The Black Orchid Girls by: Carolyn Arnold
Published on: February 10, 2022

Black Orchid Girls is the 4th book in the Detective Amanda Steele series that gives a solid story, but felt a little bland.

Early one morning a girl is found murdered in the Leesylvania State Park and Detective Amanda Steele and her partner Detective Trent Stenson are called in to investigate. The girl turns out to be a local college student, Chloe Sumner, with a heart for the environment and was frequently known to go to the park for the Mystery snail. Soon the detectives are given plenty of leads to begin their investigation, which include boyfriends, roommates, and rivals just to name a few.

Out of all the characters and police interviews, my favorite parts were the dynamics of Chloe’s two roommates. The tension between the two felt believable and allowed them to become scene stealers when they entered the story.

My biggest issue is that it felt a little bland. The story and plot was ok and easy follow, but outside of Detective Steele you don’t really see any character development. I don’t necessarily need to follow Detective Stenson to his home, but at the same time I can’t say I know any more about him than when I first started the book. And while we continue to follow what is going on in Detective Steele’s personal life, it didn’t necessarily always feel like an organic progression.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review