Perfect for readers who like their mysteries light on the murder but heavy on the humor.

THE ROOFTOP PARTY

A TV host rushes to solve a murder case, afraid that she could be the killer.

Dana Barry didn’t dream of being a Shopping Channel host—she always wanted to be an actress. But when roles are hard to come by, she accepts a hosting gig and finds out that she’s actually great at selling handbags, jewelry, and loungewear. The channel is struggling, and she thinks pivoting to skin care would be a surefire path to success. But when she attempts to pitch the idea to the company’s lecherous CEO at a booze-filled party on the roof, he’s only interested in her. Turning him down is the last thing Dana remembers clearly—she blacks out, and when she comes to, the CEO is dead. Someone clearly pushed him off the roof, and no one knows who did it. Dana’s homicide detective boyfriend, Ari, is on the case, but he can’t share any confidential info with her. Dana starts to wonder if she could be the murderer—after all, she has no idea what happened after she blacked out. Desperate to clear her name, Dana launches herself into a secret murder investigation using her Shopping Channel connections and her own sleuthing abilities. Will she be able to keep her job, save her relationship, and prove her innocence at the same time? Meister creates an engaging mystery in the unique setting of the home shopping world. It’s as fun to watch Dana piece together the clues as it is to see the behind-the-scenes details of her life as a TV host. Dana juggles a relationship, family drama, and a high-profile job, making her likable and easy to root for. Meister imbues her (and many other characters) with a quick wit and plenty of laughworthy lines. While the murderer’s big reveal isn’t quite as satisfying as it could have been, the journey to get there is entertaining enough that it doesn’t really matter.

Perfect for readers who like their mysteries light on the murder but heavy on the humor.

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-778-30951-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

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THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE

In December 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie really did disappear for 11 days. Was it a hoax? Or did her husband resort to foul play?

When Agatha meets Archie on a dance floor in 1912, the obscure yet handsome pilot quickly sweeps her off her feet with his daring. Archie seems smitten with her. Defying her family’s expectations, Agatha consents to marry Archie rather than her intended, the reliable yet boring Reggie Lucy. Although the war keeps them apart, straining their early marriage, Agatha finds meaningful work as a nurse and dispensary assistant, jobs that teach her a lot about poisons, knowledge that helps shape her early short stories and novels. While Agatha’s career flourishes after the war, Archie suffers setback after setback. Determined to keep her man happy, Agatha finds herself cooking elaborate meals, squelching her natural affections for their daughter (after all, Archie must always feel like the most important person in her life), and downplaying her own troubles, including her grief over her mother's death. Nonetheless, Archie grows increasingly morose. In fact, he is away from home the day Agatha disappears. By the time Detective Chief Constable Kenward arrives, Agatha has already been missing for a day. After discovering—and burning—a mysterious letter from Agatha, Archie is less than eager to help the police. His reluctance and arrogance work against him, and soon the police, the newspapers, the Christies’ staff, and even his daughter’s classmates suspect him of harming his wife. Benedict concocts a worthy mystery of her own, as chapters alternate between Archie’s negotiation of the investigation and Agatha’s recounting of their relationship. She keeps the reader guessing: Which narrator is reliable? Who is the real villain?

A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8272-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.

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THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME

When a devoted husband and father disappears, his wife and daughter set out to find him.

Hannah Hall is deeply in love with her husband of one year, Owen Michaels. She’s also determined to win over his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, who has made it very clear that she’s not thrilled with her new stepmother. Despite the drama, the family is mostly a happy one. They live in a lovely houseboat in Sausalito; Hannah is a woodturner whose handmade furniture brings in high-dollar clientele; and Owen works for The Shop, a successful tech firm. Their lives are shattered, however, when Hannah receives a note saying “Protect her” and can’t reach Owen by phone. Then there’s the bag full of cash Bailey finds in her school locker and the shocking news that The Shop’s CEO has been taken into custody. Hannah learns that the FBI has been investigating the firm for about a year regarding some hot new software they took to market before it was fully functional, falsifying their financial statements. Hannah refuses to believe her husband is involved in the fraud, and a U.S. marshal assigned to the case claims Owen isn’t a suspect. Hannah doesn’t know whom to trust, though, and she and Bailey resolve to root out the clues that might lead to Owen. They must also learn to trust one another. Hannah’s narrative alternates past and present, detailing her early days with Owen alongside her current hunt for him, and author Dave throws in a touch of danger and a few surprises. But what really drives the story is the evolving nature of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship, which is by turns poignant and frustrating but always realistic.

Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7134-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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