Book review: RED FLAGS, A Kate Reilly Mystery by Tammy Kaehler

By Liz Wittich

Book Review: RED FLAGS, A Kate Reilly Mystery by Tammy Kaehler


In Tammy Kaehler’s fourth installment of the Kate Reilly series, Red Flags, Kate finds herself once again in the middle of a murder scene. The action picks up a week out from the annual Grand Prix of Long Beach where Kate has several responsibilities. She has a new sponsor, her estranged father’s family owned bank, which is further complicated by her cousin’s untimely murder.  The novel opens with the police asking her to identify the body.  Throughout the week leading up to the race, Kate must balance her ambition to further her career, her responsibilities to her two sponsors along with her current team, her own curiosity—oh and win the race.  While she continually tells everyone around her that she isn’t investigating the murder of the cousin she despises, she can’t seem help herself because as the police detective points out “’If you’re both an insider and an outsider, your perspective could be useful.”’  This idea of being both on the inside and the outside is the motif for the entire story arc; in every aspect of her life, Kate is both an insider and an outsider.  It is this perspective that is so appealing and makes the reader want to follow Kate’s journey.

Kaehler seamlessly integrates the racing world into her writing, giving those who are unfamiliar with racings’ intricacies a peek behind the curtain.  One does not have to be a race fan to enjoy reading this book.  Racing is the backdrop of all of the novels, but the heart of every one is Kate Reilly: a no-nonsense female heroine who happens to stumble into danger both on and off the track. As with every book in this series, our protagonist, Kate Reilly, is an up and coming female drive in the IMSA series with the desire to drive in both the IndyCar and NASCAR series.  In Red Flags, Kate is finally seeing her dreams realized.  She has a spot on a championship contending IMSA team and not one but two major sponsors with her newest sponsor paying for oval testing with an IndyCar team and plans for her to race in the most coveted of all races, the Indianapolis 500.

Those in the industry will find that she has brilliantly captured the psyche of racing and will identify with the balancing act that the Kate faces throughout the series.  Mystery fans will enjoy the intriguing characters and the complexity of story which will keep them guessing until the end.  Red Flags is a fast paced murder-mystery with a splash of romance and a big dose of women kicking ass.

Tammy Kaehler is in Indianpolis for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 this week and is making the following public appearances:

  • At the Irvington Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library at 6:30pm on Wednesday, May 25th. The east-side library branch is located at 5625 E.Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46219.
  • With 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 starter Pippa Mann at the Carmel Clay Public Library at 11am on Thursday May 26th. The Carmel Clay Public Library is located at 55 4th Ave SE Carmel, IN 46032.
  • At IndyReads Books on Saturday, May 28th at 3pm. Indy Reads, an independent, not-for-profit bookstore in Downtown Indianapolis, is located at 911 Massachusetts, Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202.