A murder mystery comes to life when a literary agent is killed in the manner of her author’s latest book.
Beloved by none, Melinda Walter dies suddenly when her car careens off the road and into a tree. She’s killed not by the impact but by the mercury gas someone’s pumped into her car. While Charlemagne Russo naturally mourns her longtime agent (though her grieving is mixed with the same relief everyone in Melinda’s life seems to feel), she has special reasons for being concerned with the manner of Melinda’s death. It just so happens that Melinda was killed in the same way as the victim in Charlee’s latest novel, and Charlee worries that the connection may spell danger for her. The police see it another way, a way that puts Charlee at the top of their suspect list. Charlee tries to get her cop brother, Lance, to vouch for her, but to no avail. Instead, she launches her own investigation into the people who read her latest novel: her writing critique group and volunteer beta readers. Armed with a list of potential suspects, she interviews those who could have had the means to implement the death sentence Charlee imagined, since Melinda was so unpleasant that Charlee thinks she’s got motive covered. As she learns more about those she thought were closest to her, Charlee is surprised at some of the secrets they’ve been hiding in their daily lives. Nothing shocks her more than the revelation that her own boyfriend, Ozzi Rabbinowitz, believes she may be the one who killed Melinda. Now finding the killer isn’t just her mission, but a matter of pride.
The charming heroine and the supporting cast shine in Clark’s fun and funny solo mystery debut (co-author: Marshmallow Mayhem, 2015, etc.), which doesn’t take anyone too seriously in the best way possible.