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Fish Out Of Water - Ros Baxter I do wish Goodreads would bring in the half stars. This is more than a 3 star, not quite a 4 star. I'd like to go with a 3 and three-quarters rating, but I'll settle for a 3 and a half.

A mermaid who lives in the desert. And is a sheriff. And smokes. Well, why not? Who says a mermaid has to live in water all the time?

Fish out of Water by Ros Baxter is the first in a planned trilogy about Rania Aquilina, the deputy sheriff of a land-locked small town called Dirtwater. And who is also half-mermaid, on her mother’s side. When the body of a young woman is discovered, Raina is called in on the case and discovers the murdered woman is a mermaid. She realizes the woman has a connection to her – other than just being another mermaid – and that’s when things heat up. Solving the case, dealing with the hot naked man who suddenly appears, and stopping her impending foretold death add up to a fun, witty, light-hearted tale.

I very much enjoyed Ros Baxter’s take on the mermaid myth. Although I have to admit I was trying to get my head around how they are underwater – not so much tails and swimming gracefully, but almost like treading water in place. Hmm. Couldn’t quite get that. However it is unique and very different and was well imagined.

The marketing hype is comparing this to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series meets Splash!, the movie. But I don’t see that. Stephanie Plum is downright silly and fluffy – while Fish out of Water is not a heavy dark tale, it’s not as ludicrous and ridiculous as Plum is. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a fan of the Stephanie Plum series…well, maybe not so much anymore as I really think it’s become tired and overdone. But Raina has a lot more depth to her. And the story as a whole isn’t as cookie-cutter and going through the motions as the Plum series has become.

Fish out of Water is a fun story, one that drew me in and kept me captured throughout. Yes, there is a kinda Love Triangle – my absolute #1 PET HATE – but it honestly didn’t bug me here. I got the feeling that the mysterious naked man – who yep, is a merman himself – isn’t really going to feature big in Raina’s love life. He was more of a distraction for her, while she sorts out her feelings for Doug, her ex. And truth be told, I’m hoping she’ll end up with Doug. A much more fun and enjoyable character than the merman.

It’s cute, it’s fun, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I really like Ms Baxter’s take on mermaids. Pretty sure I’ll be going for book two when it’s released.