Title: Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer’s Mystery) by Becky Clark
Genre: Currently #6572 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: To be released April 8, 2018
Source: Midnight Ink and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Fiction Can Be Murder–I get it–her reading chair, but…
This book is every bit as much fun as a cozy mystery but without the recipes! Is it or is it not a cozy mystery? Well, maybe so, though it’s sub-titled a mystery writer’s mystery, and that’s not really a cozy mystery cover, I don’t think. I’m already invested in the characters, however, that she establishes in this, the first of her series and the setting of Denver in March? Come on–Perfect! (As I’m reading from Indiana flirting with snow flurries.) Even were it the middle of summer, everyone is familiar with the cliché of Denver winters, which I’m sure must be comparable to northern Siberia, and fetches chills just saying the word.
So where do I start? Charlemagne (Charlee) Russo is a mid-level mystery author who has an agent, (Melinda) so you know she must have had some measure of success. She is not, however, doing so well she bought a condo with a view. Living in an apartment, several of her characters are the apartment dwellers in and around her. She is also deep in a writer’s critique group, and we are introduced to these characters as she systematically eliminates each from her private list of possible suspects.
The problem? Her agent was murdered as described in the manuscript she is currently developing. And can Charlee be described as a person of interest? Yes, if you consider her royalty payments have been decreasing lately. So, who was privy to the manuscript beside her beta-readers? Or her boyfriend, Ozzi Rabbinowitz? Or the group, beta-readers, friends and relatives? It’s not like the agent was a much-beloved author muse. She wielded a very heavy rejection pen and further added nasty comments about the writer’s thought processes. Among the zany cast of characters is a perky pug, owned by her senior neighbors the Singers, named Peter O’Drool.
Snappy patter, realistic dialogue. The prologue is a hook and you can’t back out. Besides the clever protagonist Charlee, who is fairly well developed (I’d guess some backstory will be forthcoming in the second of the series explaining a tremor) and peripheral characters developed well enough to get a grasp on where they stand on murder, you’ll have a number of laugh out loud moments as the author turns up the humor meter, along with some notable quotables:
“…manuscripts were never finished, only abandoned…”
“I’d tell you to go to hell, but I never want to see you again.”
(Tell me that isn’t classic.) Even non-authors can identify with those sentiments!
The story wraps on a satisfying conclusion, pulling most loose ends together, although reached just a bit into unpresented discovery.
Fast and evenly paced, well-crafted plot, lively characters real enough to imagine without heavy descriptive devices (human nuances keeping them in the mind’s eye), and a clever peek into a writer’s life. Engaging and entertaining.
I was given a download of an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. As the first in a new series, definitely a (cozy?) mystery writer I’ll be following and I can’t wait to see how Becky Clark will follow this one up!
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars
The Author: (From Amazon Author page) Becky Clark is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them too. She surrounds herself with quirky people and pets who end up as characters in her books. Her stout-hearted dog keeps her safe from menacing squirrels, leaves, and deer, but not plastic bags. Those things are terrifying.
Readers say her books are “fast and thoroughly entertaining” with “witty humor and tight writing” and “humor laced with engaging characters” so you should “grab a cocktail and enjoy the ride.” They also say “Warning: You will laugh out loud. I’m not kidding,” and “If you like Janet Evanovich, you will like Becky Clark.”
She is wiggly with anticipation over her upcoming release of FICTION CAN BE MURDER, the first in the Mystery Writer’s Mystery series.
Visit BeckyClarkBooks for all kinds of fun. Anticipate some book launch hoopla in early 2018. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to her “So Seldom It’s Shameful” newsletter. You’ll hear about new releases, maybe win some prizes, find out about book promotions from her and others, read interviews from new-to-you authors, and more. Oh, and do you like haikus? (As you might have gleaned from the title, she won’t inundate your inbox, either.)
Follow Becky Clark on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BeckyClarkAu… and at Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/author/beckyclark). If you enjoy her books, she’d swoon if you left a review. Yes, swoon. ©2018 V Williams