Review: Black Velvet by Steven Henry

Black Velvet by Steven HenryBlack Velvet by Steven Henry

Series: The Erin O’Reilly Mysteries #1

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural, K-9

Setting: New York City

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2017

224 pages

Synopsis: Erin learned a lot from her partner: stay alert, follow your nose, and once you’ve got your teeth in them, never let go. 

It’s tough working nights with the NYPD. The crime rate is high, the hours are terrible, and forget about a personal life. So when Officer O’Reilly and her K-9 Rolf switch over to the day shift, things are looking up. She’s even able to find time for a new boyfriend. 

But when the theft of a priceless painting from the Queens Museum leaves a fellow police officer dead, Erin and her four-legged partner find themselves dealing with dangerous criminals, sleazy art dealers, and obstructive detectives in a race to capture the killers…and just maybe bring closure to a 75-year-old crime.

My thoughts

This is the first book I’ve read by Steven Henry and I liked it. There’s already another book in this series and I plan to read it.

I like police procedurals and especially like ones that include K-9 dogs! Erin O’Reilly is a patrol officer for the NYPD and her partner is a German Shepherd named Rolf. Her dad was also a cop for NYPD so she knows what the job entails and she’s an enthusiastic and dedicated officer. She and Rolf work well together and trust each other. Erin gets a certain amount of obstruction from male officers which I think most women who have worked in a male dominated workplace will recognize. But she’s also respected by many of her fellow officers as well as her lieutenant.

While she’s on a date a robbery takes place and even though she’s dressed for a date and doesn’t have her gun she calls in the details and runs after the thieves. This leads her to get more involved in the case than a patrol officer normally would. The detectives whose case it is don’t appreciate her involvement and warn her to stay away from the case. Of course, she doesn’t listen and I thought that was the weakest part of the story. I thought neither the detectives nor Erin acted like professional police officers. I guess it was necessary for the story, but that bothered me.

I didn’t feel as much emotional connection with Erin as I would have expected. I think that’s because she didn’t show flaws or weaknesses that she had to work through during the course of the story. I hope I feel I get to know more about Erin in future books and that she shows some of her weaknesses as well as her strengths.

As a whole, I enjoyed the story. I liked reading about Erin and Rolf’s interactions, the characters in the story and the mystery though I did figure out who was behind the theft. I do want to read future books about Erin and Rolf.

My Rating: C+

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge hosted by the POPSUGAR website — A book involving a heist

Books I’d buy if I had a gift card

Top TenTop Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

The topic this week:

Books I’d buy if I had a gift card (I think I should hint about this to my family!)


The Last Death of Jack Harbin by Terry Shames

  • Genre: Mystery
  • Series: Samuel Craddock Mystery #2
  • I just read the first book in this series and loved it. Would love to buy the second book and start reading.


Winterwood by Jacey Bedford

  • Genre: Historical Fantasy, Pirates
  • Series: Rowankind #1
  • Pirates! Historical fantasy (set in 1800’s Great Britain)! Magic, Napoleon, King George….yes!

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Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold

  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Series: Vorkosigan Saga #16
  • I love the Miles Vorkosigan series. I need to catch up to this book in the series, but want to have it ready!


The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

  • Genre: Mystery, Western, Police Procedural
  • Series: Walt Longmire #1
  • I’m watching this series on Netflix and love it so I want to read the books, too!


Unreasonable Doubt by Vicky Delany

  • Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural
  • Series: Constable Molly Smith #8
  • I love this series. I’m not quite ready to read this book yet, but I want it so it’s in my TBR pile when I’m ready!


Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine

  • Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Steampunk
  • Series: Unknown
  • Sounds like a fun adventure science fiction; And the cover is great–looks very steampunk!


Murder on Brittany Shores by Jean-Luc Bannalec

  • Genre: Mystery
  • Series: Commissaire Dupin #1
  • Set in Brittany in France. I want to read this book!

Books I would preorder:


Stalking Ground by Margaret Mizushima

  • Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural
  • Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #2
  • I read book one earlier this year and it’s one of my favorite books of the year.
  • This book is coming out in September.


Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Series: The Others #5
  • This is one of my favorite series and this may be the last book in the series.
  • It’s scheduled to come out in March 2017.
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An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca

  • Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Police Procedural
  • Series: The Maradaine Constabulary #2
  • I read the first book in this series and really liked it. I like the fantasy world mixed with a mystery.
  • Scheduled to come out in November 2016.

What books would you buy if you had a huge fully-loaded gift card?