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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written detective/love story
This story follows Meg Barnes, an actress who has lost everything. She is living in the back of a car "down and out in Beverly Hills". This is because her husband was a con-man and faked his own kidnapping, and is now presumed dead. Meanwhile Meg had to stamp up the ransom and the rest was taken from debts he built up in her name. When the FBI get involved she meets...
Published 21 months ago by Tim Roast

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cozy Mystery?
I got the feeling from the synopsis and from the cover art that this was a Chick Lit romance but this felt more like what is known to some as a 'Cozy Mystery'? I'm not too familiar with this genre but it seems to have all the hallmarks, I think.

I liked the story though. It wasn't as funny as the blurb's would have me believe but it did have it's moments. It...
Published 22 months ago by Stella


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written detective/love story, 12 Aug. 2013
By 
Tim Roast (UK) - See all my reviews
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This story follows Meg Barnes, an actress who has lost everything. She is living in the back of a car "down and out in Beverly Hills". This is because her husband was a con-man and faked his own kidnapping, and is now presumed dead. Meanwhile Meg had to stamp up the ransom and the rest was taken from debts he built up in her name. When the FBI get involved she meets handsome agent Jack.

Meg's most famous character from her acting days is that of detective side-kick Jinx, and after running away for a year or so she decides to take a leaf out of Jinx's book and go on the hunt of her husband. But with people being killed around her and an FBI agent warning her off things get dangerous.

The book was well written and the actor sensibilities of Meg came through, probably because the author is an actress herself, whilst not writing books. The cover was a bit misleading as I imagined Meg as a 20-something woman into high heels but she is in her 40s/50s, and probably prefers flat shoes. But you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover as they say.

Thoroughly entertaining read with the beginning being better than the end in my opinion, with the coming together of all the parts being out of character for someone. But overall really good and definitely worth reading.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars easy read to put down and pick up again, 28 Feb. 2013
By 
Fi P "Fi" (Chicago, Il) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed this as a read to accompany the last 20 mins at night, drying my hair and in the bath! It would be an ideal beach read.
Following the story of Meg - a one time Hollywood starlet we follow her life after her husband has 'disappeared' supposedly kidnapped. The same husband that has swindled a lot of money out of Hollywood on dodgy property deals.
The story is fairly formulaic and you can guess what is going to happen at the end - but there is a mini twist with another player entering last minute.
I enjoyed it but don't expect your brain to be stretched. It was a pleasant read and made a change from the normal chic lit out there. A bit of romance but more intrigue makes a pleasant change.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cozy Mystery?, 30 July 2013
By 
Stella (UK) - See all my reviews
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I got the feeling from the synopsis and from the cover art that this was a Chick Lit romance but this felt more like what is known to some as a 'Cozy Mystery'? I'm not too familiar with this genre but it seems to have all the hallmarks, I think.

I liked the story though. It wasn't as funny as the blurb's would have me believe but it did have it's moments. It did feel like there was a bit too much name dropping in every chapter but since the character is an actress I suppose that might be expected, I just didn't know who half of them were so they didn't really add much for me.

The little catch phrases got a bit tiresome but maybe in a world like Hollywood something that gets you remembered is going to be milked for everything it's worth.

It's mostly about the sleuthing though. She played an amateur sleuth as an actress and now she's trying to get to the bottom of a mystery surrounding her ex husband. It's all a bit predictable but it's still enjoyable. I liked feeling as if I was getting behind the scenes to see how the Hollywood set live off screen and it was the fun to see it all laid bare.

To be fair, there is a tiny bit of romance too but not much.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable light hearted book, 28 Aug. 2013
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Beanie Luck (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
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I have to say that i actually really enjoyed this book.

It is not my usual genre of choice but i found it very light, in parts amusing and i think it would make a good movie.

I pictured the lead character meg as Sally field for some reason but this helped me to visualise the book better.

I think this would make a great beach read or sunday afternoon read, its not a book you pick up and dont put down, but one that you can read one chapter at a time just before bed that wull always put a smile on your face.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When you're down at the bottom, the only way is up!, 10 Sept. 2014
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Returning from three weeks filming away on location, the heroine of this story expected to find her husband waiting to wine and dine her but there's no sign of him - till the phone rings. That's when he tells her he has been kidnapped whilst on a business trip to Mexico. He gives her precise instructions what to do to pay the ransom demanded and tells her not to contact the police or mutual friends!

This is the start of a drama packed story as she learns more about her husband, his schemes and suffers the impact of his disappearance on her own life. Throughout this she has to learn who to trust, what true friendship is and helps solve an international crime!

This story involves duplicity, murder, drug cartels, Russian mafia, FBI agents and much much more! A great story with just a hint of romance to sweeten the tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and likeable., 22 July 2014
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I expected this book to be a bit of light-hearted fluff that would occupy some downtime I had coming up. It turned into a fun romp through the behind-the-scenes aspects of Hollywood, with a mystery to be solved and a heroine that surprised me.

Meg Barnes made for a likeable character. She was smart, sympathetic to other's plight (despite being in no small way worse off) and genuinely just trying to get back on her feet. After a stressful run-in with the paparazzi due to her con-man husband taking off with half of Hollywood's money, she opts for self-preservation instead of status and returns to find that she has nothing. No house, no career, no money.

Making the best of a bad situation, she continues on with her life. The book gave an interesting view on a scenario of homelessness that just doesn't measure up with the glamorous portrayal of Hollywood's perfection.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brainless bimbo free myster/romance..., 28 Aug. 2013
By 
AyJay (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Actress Meg had a hit TV show, large house, a wardrobe full of designer clothes, and a fantastic husband in Paul. But after just one year of marriage Paul disappears, taking Meg's money - and half of Hollywood's behind-the-scenes power players fortunes too.

The book starts with following Meg as she returns to Hollywood after a year of hiding her head after people believed that she was involved with her husband's big con, she is now living in her car and trying to restart her career to earn herself desperately needed money. Unfortunately her return makes it easy for everyone to find her; threatening goons who want her to tell them where her husband is, and the FBI who also still believe that she was in on the big con. Can Meg really trust her remaining friends and potential love interest FBI agent Jack, or do they really want her to go down for something that she didn't do too?

Meg feels as though she has no option but to find Paul, to prove her innocence...

***

What made this book more enjoyable for me, over other books of this subgenre, was that I was able to see why Meg choose to turn into Sherlock. In 'female sleuth' mysteries I usually become annoyed with the leads for being nosy when they turn into amuter detective and place themselves in danger almost immediatly. Also for a plot that has a strong dash of romance in Meg isn't in constant 'damsel in distress' mode either. The best part is that I was never confident in telling who was lying, or in guessing how everything would end.

I've removed a star because the story is pretty slow to really start moving anywhere, and I didn't care for the number of times that Meg flashes back to the year before the book starts, to look back on things around Paul and Jack. But apart from that I really enjoyed this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A romp through Beverly Hills . . ., 10 April 2013
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. . . . or how I learned to live in my car.

I LOVED this novel. I laughed aloud and rocketed through this pacey, intriguing story by Kathryn Leigh Scott. I shan't tell you much of the plot. You need to enjoy it for yourself. Suffice to say from my subtitle above, it's not only a mystery but a tremendous survival guide. If all you've been left by your conman husband are a few clothes, your phone and a car, this novel will give you the heads up on how to live on your wits and survive in a dignified way in a town where status is the main currency.
Despite her straightened circumstances, our actress heroine Meg manages to get by on the remnants of her previous life: a fortuitous gym-buddy membership, happy hour snacks, an in-depth understanding of how Beverly Hills ticks, and at her most desperate, hunkering down in an old neighbour's garage. Luckily, Meg still has an agent and, against the odds, lands a job on the pilot for a new TV series. But with the job comes complications, exacerbated by her homeless and being stalked by some unsavoury characters who are convinced Meg knows where her missing conman husband's loot is. With the help of an eccentric but kindly new friend/fan and a disconcertingly passionate interest in the FBI man on her husband's case, Meg decides she must get to the bottom of his dodgy dealings. She takes on the villains, the double-crossers and the rival women and embarks on a risky trip to Mexico. Will Meg succeed? Will she get a fraction of her once perfect life back? Is it too dangerous to fall in love with a rugged FBI man? Give it a whirl, people . . . it's a blast.
*Two thumbs up*
Down and Out in Beverly Heels
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3.0 out of 5 stars Down and Out, 25 July 2013
By 
elsie purdon "reads too much" (dorset uk) - See all my reviews
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Written by an ex-actress this novel has her main character Meg Barnes, a once famous actress now living out of her car thanks to her ex husband Paul who turned out to be a conman.
As an actress Meg had played a sidekick to a detective in a popular series and was often the one who solved the crime. In real life she wants to find her ex, who disappeared with all her money after phoning her and claiming he had been kidnapped.
He has also taken a lot of other people's money and it's not just Meg that wants to find him.

I found the story held my attention until about half way when I realised that Meg Barnes irritated the hell out of me (she seems to be permanently in a bad mood and consistently rude), then I lost patience with the plot and ended up reading the ending before finishing the novel!

I think this is an okay read with some well drawn characters but at the same time none of them ever became real enough for me to care about them.
I thought there was some interesting details about how to live in Beverley Hills while pretending you are not broke and living in your car.
Some funny parts too, but as a whole it's lacking something.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Adventure (Ignore the chick-lit misleading title), 2 Sept. 2014
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This is an excellent little adventure story. Well written, intriguing, entertaining, funny and I would highly recommend it. The 'title' is very off putting - I thought it was chick-lit nonsense and nearly gave it a miss. Thank goodness for 'samples'. I would recommend the author changes the misleading title of the book. The heroine isn't young either (which I preferred) being mid-agedish.
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