Author Guest Post
Call the Police!
By: Lesley A. Diehl
Author of A Secondhand Murder
Many homicide detectives will agree that crimes are often solved by a combination of brain work and foot work. I guess Sherlock Holmes deductive reasoning and Hercule Poirot’s little grey cells still figure in crime detection. In Miss Marple’s case, age worked for her, giving her the experience necessary to understand the human psyche. We know these approaches work. What else can the writer do with an amateur sleuth?
None of my amateur sleuths are as old as Miss Marple. Wisdom that comes of age is something they may grow into, yet they do have other resources. Eve Appel, my protagonist in A Secondhand Murder, uses her contacts among police authorities to help her in solving a murder. One of her best friends is a newly appointed homicide detective, and the man in Eve’s life is a private detective. Susan Wittig Albert employs the same approach in her Texas Hill Country herbalist mysteries where she pairs her protagonist with the town’s leading police officer, a woman nicknamed “Smart Cookie”, as well as marries the herbalist to a former Texas Ranger. Mary Daheims’s newspaper editor is engaged to and finally marries the town’s sheriff. Eve gets additional legal help from another, less likely source, a mobster by the name of Nappi Napolitani. Who better knows the criminal mind than a mob kingpin?
Because identifying the killer is less often based upon forensic evidence in a cozy mystery, but more upon reasoning and evidence gleaned through talking to suspects and witnesses, cozies rely upon the character of the protagonist to solve the crime. A tenacious personality is always a plus for an amateur snoop. All of mine have this in spades and can be said to be snoopy women who don’t know when to keep their noses out of a good crime. For example, knowing that she cannot get the police to execute a search warrant, Eve calls on Nappi’s knowledge of breaking and entering to help her get into a house to take a look around. For Eve, crossing over the line into something a bit illegal is no concern. Albert’s and Daheims’s heroines share this don’t-back-down quality also.
The juxtaposition of a sassy woman inserting herself into the investigation and her police detective lover telling her to butt out creates great tension in the course of the crime investigation and can make for some humorous moments. It also lays the foundation for a relationship that the reader knows will continue to provide an exciting read.
All of these approaches create an amateur sleuth who can follow the clues, her own instincts and solve the crime…with a little help from her friends who are cops.
About The Author
A Secondhand Murder by Lesley A. Diehl ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours
A Secondhand Murder by Lesley A. Diehl
Book 1: An Eve Appel Mystery Series
Publisher: Camel Press
Publication Date: September 15, 2013
Format: Paperback - 260 pages / Kindle - 1586 KB / Nook - 302 KB
Genre: Cozy Mystery
BUY THE BOOK: A Secondhand Murder
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.
A Secondhand Murder is Book 1 of the Eve Appel Mysteries Series.
My Book Review:
In A Secondhand Murder, the first book of the Eve Appel Mystery Series, author Lesley A. Diehl weaves an entertaining cozy mystery that will keep the reader laughing-out-loud. Set in the rural town of Sabal Bay, Florida, and written in the first person narrative, the reader follows the madcap adventures of Eve Appel and best friend Madeleine Boucheau, as they try to solve the murder of a West Palm socialite that occurred in the dressing room during the grand opening of their consignment shop, Second to None. When Eve is targeted as the suspect in the murder, she is determined to find out who the real murderer is with the help of a gang of amateur sleuths: best friend Madeleine, a sexy PI named Alex Montgomery, her estranged husband Jerry, a shady mobster, and some hot cowboys. Can Eve and her quirky gang of misfits solve the murder mystery?
This was such a fun book to read! I really enjoyed following sassy Eve, clutzy Madeleine, and the rest of the quirky cast of characters on their zany adventure to solve the murder mystery. The author easily draws the reader into the story with a mixture of drama, mischief, and suspense that keeps them guessing what would happen next. The author does a great job of providing clues about the murder mystery, while adding a sexy romance between Eve and Alex into the mix. I really enjoyed the lighthearted humor that is so prevalent throughout the story.
A Secondhand Murder is a fast-paced cozy mystery that has enough drama & mischief, suspenseful twists and turns, and a slow-building romance that is sure to keep the reader entertained. It is an enjoyable story that will tickle your funny bone.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
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