Book Review – Bad Luck Cadet & Bad Luck Officer

A humorous memoir at its best, Bad Luck Cadet & Bad Luck Officer tells the story of Suzie Ivy and how her midlife crisis turned into the realization of her lifelong dream of becoming a police officer. All at the age of 45. I stumbled upon this in the Novel Blogs reading list. This is a two-book bundle that may or may not be complimentary to each other.


Bad Luck Cadet

Bad Luck Cadet

The book is originally a blog post series.

The first book, Bad Luck Cadet, details the start of everything—from the main protagonist’s hip injury and depression to that fateful day when she saw the ad on a drugstore bulletin board. Right then and there, she is determined to be Police Officer Ivy by hook or by crook. When asked what makes her think she can be a police officer, she replied, “I’m organized, I’m intelligent and I love mystery novels, not the cozies but the real hard core ones.”

The “bad luck” started way before the first class—from preparing physically and mentally for the challenge to finally announcing her plans to her supportive husband and three divided children. From the first day to the graduation, Miss Ivy delivered interesting stories with a punch of humor in every scene. It is not all fun, though. There is warmth in every chapter. The way she shared herself through this book is so real that readers can surely relate to every scene or character whether or not you’ve experienced training in the military.

Almost everyone talked Suzie out of being what she has been dreaming to be, making this part not just a mere triumph over midlife crisis but more importantly, a triumph over physical and psychological challenges. Not only women of her age, but everyone will find inspiration in Bad Luck Cadet.

Meet Sgt. Dickens.


The book is also a great story of friendship honed by shared hardships and joys. Anyone dreaming to be a police officer must read this book, as well as those who have friends or family in the same line of work.

Bad Luck Cadet is inspiring, alright. But I can’t help comparing it to Bad Luck Officer, which has better stories, more colorful characters, and definitely more hilarious. The improvement in story telling is very evident, too.


Bad Luck Officer

That’s the pink handcuff mentioned in the book.

Bad Luck Officer

Finally, she’s now Police Officer Ivy. Bad Luck Officer begins with Suzie’s first day and ends when she’s promoted as a detective. In the second book, she continued to struggle with gender and age discrimination. These “bad luck” qualities turn out to be good luck when the protagonist has surpassed all the expectations to the point of surprising the guys and even herself with her policing and detective abilities. She’s made for this job, after all.

This book is more entertaining to read. Thanks to the appealing cases and the author’s unique ability to find amusement in every situation. There’s Mr. Piskett and his rock, the chase of Old Betty the Beefalo, and the case of the lost penis. Here’s an excerpt of the last case:

There was a lot of blood and I wasn’t sure what I was actually looking at. It could have been a small penis or a large penis missing a big piece.

John Henly was on the crew and he was one of my favorite emergency medical techs. “Have you looked for the missing appendage?” He asked with a straight face.

Wow, I hadn’t thought of that. I turned to Kelly, “Did Chewbacca eat it?”

“I don’t know, I just pulled him off and Stan fell back on the bed. I cut his boxers off so I could see the damage.” She had a smirk on her face.

Oh goody, I was going to go and search for a penis.


Police work is serious, but the way the author tells some cases will lighten up the mood. And that is a good anti-depressant. This humor is balanced with the more serious take on issues that are obviously closer to the author’s heart like child molestation. It is fascinating to know what goes in the mind of child molesters, and even more fascinating how detectives can make them confess without torture. Here’s one of the best confession scenes:

“She told Officer Ivy that you’ve been buying some things for her.”

“I like buying her stuff. Can’t a father buy something nice for his daughter? Is that against the law now?” His voice was becoming belligerent.

Again Alex whispered in my ear, “See how he attacks about buying things for his daughter. Spike has this guy.”

“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with buying pretties for your daughter. You and I both know that.”

“I’ve never touched my daughter. I wouldn’t do that. I’m not a sick bastard.”

Alex whispered in my ear, “You’re just a stupid one.”

“So you never touched your step-daughter?”

“No, I told you I didn’t.”

“But I never asked if you did…”

The Vest

Yep. That pink handcuff is a fashion statement.

The characters are much more interesting like the exact opposites, Sgt. Spears and Spike. There’s also the almost perfect gentleman cop in Alex and the extra pervert cop in Stephens. Non-cop characters are equally remarkable like the martyr wife Rachel, her wife-beater husband Charles, and of course the wicked witch of the West, Ms. Brown. It must be crazy to ask what happened to these characters. Oh wait. It is a memoir! I wonder what happened to these people.

If there’s one thing I hate about Bad Luck Officer is it has opened cases with hanging endings like whether the lost penis was found or what happened to her undercover work on Beverly’s husband. The author is truly remarkable in keeping the suspense and surprising the reader. And she does that while giving a good laugh here and there.



I first read the Bad Luck Cadet, and while it’s a good passing time, it doesn’t hold to the humor I was expecting. There are satirical notes, but not enough for LOL. It’s easy to guess what will happen next, which leaves the excitement at low. Bad Luck Officer is perfect for its spontaneity, balance of humor and heart, and it keeps me wanting to flip the pages till I’m done.

Bad Luck Officer can stand on its own. In fact, I feel that including BLC is a bad idea, although after reading BLO, readers will surely be interested enough to read the first part. If I’ll do it again, I’ll only read the second part. But then again, you can look at it as a good bonus. For everything, I’m giving Bad Luck Cadet & Bad Luck Officer 4 stars.

Four Stars

I really liked it!


I highly recommend the book by Suzie Ivy to everyone who wants a good laugh. But I guess the bored fans of crime and police stories will want it more. This is a comical counterpart that you’ll never regret reading. Women and men who are close to being empty nesters and experiencing midlife crisis will be inspired by this book while finding themselves laughing away the fears of old age. Suzie is a walking proof that living never gets dull as long as you focus on the positive, better yet humorous, side of life. And her adventure continuous on Bad Luck Detective.




Suzie IvyAbout the Author

When she was 45 years old, Suzie Ivy decided to lose weight, get in shape and attend the police academy. She became the first female police officer in her small town, and two years later a detective. She continues to write her adventure in Bad Luck Detective. Her granddaughter calls her Princess Cop though most days she admits that her tiara is slightly crooked. When not working on a big case, she is writing, gardening, taking care of her horse and dogs or playing dominoes with her husband. She’s currently working on Book III of Bad Luck series, “Bad Luck in Small Town.”


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