Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Fiction Can Be Murder by Becky Clark
When literary agent Melinda Walter dies in a one-car accident, even Charlemagne "Charlee" Russo's boyfriend questions her. Charlee had been questioning her agent about her royalty checks. Now, Melinda is dead, killed with the methodology Charlee used in her latest manuscript. While the police question Charlee, the author panics. Is she also a potential murder victim? Who had access to her manuscript? By Charlee's reckoning, at least fifteen people could have read "Mercury Rising". That includes every member of her writing critique group.
Charlee knows where she was when Melinda Walter was killed, but it takes time to check alibis for all those other people. One by one, she eliminates them as suspects by taking chances, and even following people. But, something must be wrong with her answers. Charlee eventually finds she has no one left on the list. And, there's still a killer out there.
As I said, the humor in this particular mystery wasn't for me. While the author tried to inject humor in the form of Charlee's hand tremor as she constantly spilled coffee on herself, I found that sad. The members of the writing group were indistinguishable at times. In fact, by the time the killer was revealed, a person with an outlandish motivation, I couldn't even remember who the killer was.
Perhaps I've just been reading too many mysteries lately that are similar. The premise that a mystery author's story was used as a murder method just seemed too familiar to me, although I couldn't place it. I might have been thinking of Layton Green's Written in Blood in which crime scenes resembled famous crime scenes in literature. Close enough, but I don't know, and that's not a cozy, humorous mystery.
Saying all that, Fiction Can Be Murder launches a new humorous mystery series. We'll see where it goes.
Becky Clark's website is www.beckyclarkbooks.com
Fiction Can Be Murder by Becky Clark. Midnight Ink, 2018. ISBN 9780738753324 (paperback), 312p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.