The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco

The Best Bad Things

Alma Rosales is on the hunt for stolen opium. Trained in espionage by the Pinkerton’s Detective Agency—but dismissed for bad behavior and a penchant for going undercover as a man—Alma now works for Delphine Beaumond, her former lover and the seductive mastermind of a West Coast smuggling ring.When product goes missing at their Washington Territory outpost, Alma is offered a promotion if she can track the thief and recover the drugs. In disg...

Details The Best Bad Things

TitleThe Best Bad Things
Release DateNov 6th, 2018
PublisherFarrar Straus and Giroux
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

Reviews The Best Bad Things

  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
    *Trigger Warning, book contains very explicit content and violence.*Inspired by one of the busiest seaports on the West Coast in the US, Townsend was a well-documented hot spot for smuggling in the late 1880’s. This makes it a perfect setting for a historical fiction novel with such a daring plot. Amidst the dirt of the trade, the characters are edgy, the scenes are explicit and the atmosphere reeks of dark, pungent alleys, infused with betraya...
  • Liz
    So, I’m a fan of mysteries and historical fiction. The idea of a mystery taking place in the 1880s sounded right up my alley. Add in a female protagonist and I was all set to like it. Unfortunately, it didn’t engage me the way I hoped. The writing was as dense as pea soup. Alma Rosales goes undercover as a man to find who is stealing opium from her boss, Delphine, who is also her former lover. But I really didn’t take an interest in Alma. I...
  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    Washington Territory, 1887: Alma Rosales has been dismissed from the Pinkerton's Detective Agency for her questionable behavior and after a brief stint in California as a P.I., she's working for her former lover Delphine, the head of an opium smuggling ring.Disguised as a man named Jack Camp, Rosales infiltrates the local organization on the docks of Port Townsend to discover who has been stealing product from Delphine.  She manages to earn the ...
  • Paul
    A vivd cast of characters, a strong decisive style, and a burning tension throughout make The Best Bad Things a book I can highly recommend. Alma Rosales is a smart, savvy character who will not be forgotten any time soon. A great debut novel.Thank you to NetGalley, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, and Katrina Carrasco for the advanced copy for review.Full review can be found here: check out all my review...
  • - ̗̀ DANY ̖́- (danyreads)
    . : ☾⋆ — 3 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!! provided from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (thank you Farrar, Straus and Giroux!!)The Best Bad Things follows Alma Rosales, a gender-fluid, half Mexican, bisexual Pinkerton agent in the late 1880s in Port Townsend, Washington. Alma, working undercover for her former-lover-turned-boss, infiltrates the local drug outpost disguised as a male ...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    A shape shifting Pinkerton operator in Port Townsend, before Washington became a state. Well written with much mystery and enough intrigue. Hopefully there will be more from this author in a series that promises originality and style.
  • Geonn Cannon
    This book sounded like it was tailor-made for me. Female Pinkerton agent in pre-statehood Washington (Port Townsend, to be exact), AND she likes the ladies? I've never wanted Netgalley to approve me for a book than this one. It did not disappoint!While it has a strong mystery plot as the backbone, the real draw of this book is the main character (who is bisexual, as it turns out). Alma is one of the toughest protagonists I've read in a long time....
  • Authentikate
    3.5 Stars Alma Rosales is a new sort of heroine. She’s smart. She’s brash. She’s a snoop and a spy. She’s daring, sharp-tongued and maybe a little too full of herself. Her self-confidence is both a blessing and a curse as she sets off on high-adrenaline historical fiction suspenseful thrill ride. A former detective for the notorious Pinkerton agency, Alma, fired but unwilling to give up the hunt, begins her work for a jasmine-dripped woma...
  • Kaijsa
    This was not for me. Alma Rosales was a completely unbelievable character, and I couldn't suspend my disbelief. I wanted to love this book and the description attracted me mostly because of Alma. She isn't like anybody I've read about before and that appealed to me--I'd love to read more with gender fluid characters of color in a different book. But beyond the almost superhuman protagonist (she can fight anybody and miraculously heal!), I wasn't ...
  • Karen Kay
    I received this from in exchange for a review. Alma Rosales is searching for stolen opium. Shifting between a lady and her male persona Jack Camp, she lies, cheats and kills to find what she is looking for.It was an effort to get through this, having to read over the previous pages to keep track of the story. The writing was okay, but the story and its characters were a struggle to follow. 2☆
  • Davada
    Rating: 4.5 starsThis book is bursting with personality. You know when an author merely tells a story with their writing? In The Best Bad Things, Carrasco's writing is the story. This book is fierce, loud, and unforgettable. The characters are not cardboard cutouts. Our main character (Alma) is a sexually driven, bisexual, hispanic, kick ass, heroine that defies ALL molds set for women in historical fictions. We have Delphine, a beautifully myste...
  • Jennifer
    This book started off with a bang and I remember thinking, "Oh man...this is going to be an awesome book." Sadly though, for me personally, things started to go downhill shortly thereafter and I could barely sustain enough interest to finish it. To be clear, I don't think this is necessarily a BAD book. There is some very solid writing in here. I think it just wasn't a match for me.The book does have a damn fine opening though. Lots of action and...
  • Lou Jacobs
    "The Chameleon" … Karen Carrasco's debut novel is a beute … featuring the unlikely heroine, Alma Rosales. Half Scot and half Mexican, Alma has the unique talent of a chameleon … easily flitting between female and male persona. She is a master of costume, speech and dialect. Shifting easily between such characters as: Alma Macrae, Jack Camp and asorted others to accomplish the task at hand. Alma appears to be working for two employers with o...
  • Anne
    The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco is an historical crime novel taking place in the late 1880's in Port Townsend, Washington, at the time vying with San Francisco as the busiest port in the Northwest. It tells the story of Alma Rosales, an opium smuggler, who works for Delphine, the "boss" in the Northwest opium trade. Alma is working "undercover" to prove herself to her boss. The fact that puts an interesting spin on the whole thing is that...
  • Anneke
    Book Review: The Best Bad ThingsAuthor: Katrina CarrascoPublisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/MCDPublication Date: November 6, 2018Review Date: September 10, 2018I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. “A vibrant and compulsive read; in Alma Rosales, Katrina Carrasco has created a gender-bending heroine who is impossible to forget. The Best Bad Things packs a massive punch and succeeds in queering the...
  • Jen
    A woman disguised as a man investigating a drug ring with mysteriously disappearing opium disguised takes dedication and a keen intellect in Katrina Carrasco's The Best Bad Things.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: Rosales, a former Pinkerton detective, is a good investigator who observes minute details and asks probing questions while infiltrating situations as need demands as ei...
  • Sam
    The Best Bad Things is an outstanding literary entertainment. It is a sweaty, sensual, physical sensory overload. In terms of historical novels, it is on a par with Francis Spufford's Golden Hill for its' ambition, cheek and evocation of place.Alma Morales/Jack Camp is the gender-fluid, all action anti-hero we need. In your imagination this book is a ten part, widescreen HBO epic. You can see her bruised knuckles, dirty fingernails and blood-stai...
  • Tiffany S
    To start my review I must say-I hope Katrina Carrasco makes Alma Rosales the protagonist in at least 5 more books. “The Best Bad Things” was one of those historical fiction books that shows you the underbelly of the world and makes you cringe when you think how far women have come (and how far we have to go). Alma ROCKS to put it lightly. She worked for the Pinkerton Detective Agency but may have been dismissed for some less than stellar thin...
  • Sherry Chiger
    This is a book I admired more than loved. A gender-fluid, part-Latinx protagonist on the rough-and-tumble Washington coast during the time of opium smuggling, Pinkerton agents, and the rise of the railroads? Wow. The plot was suitably complex, with lots of ball juggling, and the prose was so vivid. But the overuse, IMO, of sentence fragments wore on me, to the point that I almost gave up reading before the halfway mark, and I felt some of the des...
  • Katherine
    This book initially looked like something I would enjoy. However as I started reading it I was confused and thought the date transitions were not helpful. It was not until at least 3/4 or more along that the disparate parts started to come together for me. The characters were fully developed although the main character is confusing and switches genders throughout the book. This story is full of sexual innuendo and brutal sex scenes, both implied ...
  • Megan
    Super confused by the high reviews on this book. I love to read and rarely find books I don’t at least kind of like. This is one of the books I really don’t like. Overall the story could have been great when you look at the bones of it, hence my two star rating. But ultimately this particular telling was a bomb for me. And what is it with the sexual violence? I don’t feel it added to the story at all. Don’t waste your time on this one.
  • Joe Jones
    Alma is a cross dressing, bisexual, half-Mexican, badass woman who goes undercover in this historical fiction story set in 1887 Washington state. She lives life on the edge and with gusto and nerve in everything she does. It does contain graphic content if that is an issue for people. Otherwise just enjoy the ride!
  • nikkia neil
    Thanks Farrar, Straus and Giroux and netgalley for this ARC. All opinions are my own. This is by far one of the grittiest, most profound, awesome, and action filled novel of the year. You won't be able to put this one down.
  • AnnMarie
    There is not an adjective that Carrasco does not like. The over descriptions of every person, place and thing made this book drag on. A fight scene that could have been written in 3 pages went on for 8 pages. It turned a promising story into a wordy mess.
  • D.B. Moone
    The Best Bad Things: A Novelby Katrina CarrascoFarrar, Straus, and GirouxMCDHistorical FictionPub Date 06 Nov 2018As a #NetGalley reader and reviewer, I read the description of The Best Bad Things on #NetGalley, which was the same description on Macmillan Publisher‘s page for The Best Bad Things.“A brazen, brawny, sexy standout of a historical thrill ride, The Best Bad Things is full of unforgettable characters and insatiable appetites. I was...
  • Pamela
    Alma Rosales is a former Pinkerton spy who was dismissed from the agency for being a rogue and for going undercover as Jack Camp. As the book opens, Alma is looking for a treasure trove of opium that has gone missing. She needs to find out who’s stolen it, who turned on the owner of the drugs, and how to keep her secrets secret. In the meantime, she’s also sending messages to Pinkerton agents to keep them from blowing her case and her identit...
  • Holley Perry
    If you were going to be a cross-dressing spy, do you think that you could be successful in hiding your true identity?In The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco, it’s 1887 and Alma Rosales has been dismissed as a Pinkerton Detective. Her former boss, Delphine, is the leader of a drug smuggling ring. Delphine hires Alma to find out who is stealing the drugs.Alma decides to use the alias of Jack Camp and dress like a man to infiltrate the local dr...
  • Kathy
    Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: This is not a fluffy book. Sure, it' s got gratuitous violence, opium smuggling, a steamy will they/won't they sub plot, and a bisexual main character who is a former lady-detective turned cross-dressing crime ring fixer.Don't be fooled! This is really historical fiction with a side of mayhem!The world of 1887 Port Townsend is rendered in perfect detail, the opium ring smuggling operation is complex...
  • Kathleen Gray
    Well, this was a surprise! Alma is a tough woman- she was fired from Pinkerton and now she's working for a drug smuggling ring trying to find stolen opium. Port Townsend Washington is rough and gritty and not the place one would expect a woman to sleuth so she goes undercover as Jack Camp. There's a lot of action as she makes her way among the bad guys. Delphine, her former lover and current employer, is not one you want to cross either. This was...
  • Sarah
    I was really excited when I read the description for this book. A female Pinkerton agent, sent undercover into the opium trade sounded right up my alley. I have to say, I was a little disappointed. I couldn't get behind the character of Alma Rosales. For me she didn't elicit any kind of connection. The writing was also a bit off for me as well. The in between chapters with the prisoner interview, meant to provide foreshadowing and context, ended ...