Twenty-six-year-old Emily Castles is out of work…again. So when famous romance author Morgana Blakely offers her a job helping out at a conference in London, Emily accepts. Just as eagerly, American blogger Winnie Kraster accepts an invitation from Morgana to attend as a guest, not realizing she has, in effect, accepted an invitation to die.
As a cast of oddball characters assembles at the conference hotel, grievances, differences, and secrets begin to emerge.
When Winnie goes missing, and then is found murdered nearby, Emily begins to suspect that someone involved with the conference is responsible. Could it be one of the organizers, one of the authors, a member of the hotel staff, or even the supplier of the chocolates for the conference gift bags?
Emily teams up with guest speaker and eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel to find out. Offbeat and engaging, this entertaining comic mystery is the first to feature amateur British sleuth Emily Castles.
©2013 Helen Smith (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I like mysteries, especially funny mysteries. No heavy forensics, except when an author makes that somehow not boring.
Laugh out loud
Emily Castles, because I can see me in her- which is good, in a protagonist. The characters around her are mostly larger than life, and we see them through Emily's off-beat perspective.
Oh, I couldn't possibly pick! Alison Larkin does an amazing job with all of them.
It made me (and also my boyfriend) snort with laughter. We are still quoting bits of the story to each other, and laughing.
Only that fans of Michael Innes and Edmund Crispin, people who have perhaps given up on any modern writer of detective fiction coming up to the high comic standard of these authors, would do well to give this work a try, and to keep an eye on Helen Smith's work in the future.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
An American Blogger wins a writing contest and ends up invited to a Romance Novelist's convention in England. She is delighted. She loves reading and she is eager to meet the authors of the books she has been reviewing. Of course she isn't to know that this is her last invitation.
Smith's part time sleuth, Emily Castles has been hired to perform temporary services at the convention. She finds herself in the midst of as fine a group of English eccentrics as she is likely to meet and ends up investigating the death of the Blogger.
I really liked this novel. It's a bit shorter than I normally listen to, but I did like Smith's satire. I found myself backing up the file to listen to the romance scene written by one of the characters in the story for the contest. I thought it was wickedly funny and reminded me a bit of the old Purple Prose contest that used to be hosted by one of the early popular Romance blogs-- (AAR? I can't remember the name unfortunately.)
Anyway, while not a fabulous mystery this was a very fun read and come recommended. Also look out for the next book in the series!
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