Due to a psych test revealing "a pathological need to be liked," Maisie McGrane has been kicked out of the police academy. Stunned, and in a desperate attempt to prove her mental fortitude, she takes a job working for her brother's girlfriend as a Parking Enforcement Officer. Obviously, this is a big step down for Maisie. But having the public pour milkshakes on your head and pee on your golf cart is not nearly as bad as confessing to your family why you didn't graduate.
Maisie's family is one of the spectacular aspects of this debut mystery. With five older brothers who are all either cops or lawyers and her parents, one a cop and one a lawyer, the reader develops great appreciation for this group. The familial harassment, interference in private lives, and dinner competitions regarding ticketing violations (the better to catch criminals), is very relatable. I laughed aloud at Maisie's internal commentary because I too would like to share my brother with someone else, forever.
In Time's Upopens a new window, the entire cast of characters, from Maisie's training officer, to the sketchy ex-Army Ranger she dates, are highly entertaining, bringing to mind Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. But Maisie is not a walking accident. On Day One of what she hopes will be a short parking enforcement career she finds a dead body, which is turned over to her brothers and found to be mob-related. Then, while acting as the designated driver for another brother, she ends up in bar fight against her academy nemesis. Between ticketing the mayor, finding more dead bodies and booting vehicles all over the town, Maisie keeps this title moving.