Title: Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery #1) by Dana Dratch
Genre: Mystery, Cozy, Amateur Sleuths
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: HAPPY RELEASE DAY – May 29, 2018
Pages: 336 pages
Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.
Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.
Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story, and unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.
What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list.
And Alex is on it.
Interesting idea for the plot of the first book in a new series, the female protagonist is an ex-reporter and now ex-PR Coleman and Walters rep. Heaven knows there is a good reason for the current ex-position, although having been in her profession for twelve plus years, I’d have assumed she’d figured out how best to handle that situation. In her defense, it was probably a set-up from the beginning. Unfortunately, it ultimately leads to suspicion she offed the offensive ex-boss and the situation quickly escalates. With brother Nick, his bride Gabby, and pup moving in and grandma Baba coming to save the day with her goulash and cleaning bucket, she’ll have plenty of time to sleuth her way to the truth.
While a red-headed Vlodnachek might not be the full attraction here, Alexandra’s family and close-knit support group provide a lively and fun romp through the storyline. What I did enjoy of the Alex character was the oft-proffered bits of humor, clever insights into her world, and the introduction of a dog I fell completely in love with–Lucy, mixed rescue, non-descript bitch with tons of delightful female personality. (If there is a raffle–could I throw my name in?)
This is a character-driven plot that sees the protagonist’s support group fully fleshed. Newspaper buddy “Trip” proves to be an excellent source of investigation suggestions. Small sub-plots with her brother and Victorian house neighbor Ian and his developing B & B will prove a source for further development in future series entries. But that is where it gets tricky. Even with a lot going on and Alex undercover cleaning toilets to get crucial “evidence,” the relatives, and old buddies working behind the scenes, the mid-storyline sags a little. And it’s not like the culprits aren’t obvious. It’s how the puzzle pieces fit that remains to be seen.
Bits of old world philosophy shine through with Baba referring to the old saying about buying the cow if he can get the milk for free, when she says “Oh, Alexandra… This cow we don’t want him to buy.” There are several other witticisms as well that keep the reader working through to conclusion. I felt the conclusion, however, missed a couple points that I’d waited to discover–the main one having to do with Gabby and all those boxes–or was the off-handed remark the explanation? In the high finance, cutthroat world of PR, I guess the antagonists motive might have rang true. Margaret though–definitely a bit over the top.
I was given this download by NetGalley through Great Escapes for the blog tour and greatly enjoyed the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for cozy mystery fans who enjoy their mystery with a side of humor and a view into a slightly different heritage background. I’m looking forward to reading #2 of the series.
or use the direct link to the Giveaway here
Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars
(From Amazon Author page) Dana Dratch is the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING, which comes out May 29. A former newspaper reporter and current personal finance writer, she’s currently writing the sequel, SEEING RED, which has Alex, Trip, rescue-pup Lucy, and the whole crazy Vlodnachek family going up against spies, art thieves and a very determined murderer. Visit her website at: ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com
Follow the rest of this blog tour through these tour participants:
May 28 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 29 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 29 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
May 30 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 30 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
May 31 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 31 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 1 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 2 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 3 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
June 4 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 4 – Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 5 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 5 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 6 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 7 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
June 7 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 8 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
June 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 9 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 10 – The Mysterious Inkspot – REVIEW
June 10 – Laura’s Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST
©2018 V Williams