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Sex, Murder & Killer Cupcakes (Marian Moyer Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Marian is headstrong, naïve, and has an active imagination. When their best model turns up dead in the dressing room all the employees are considered suspects in the case. Barry, a Milwaukee detective on the police force is also a longtime friend, and Marian uses this connection to find out how the investigation is coming along. Her father is also an ex-cop who sticks his nose in to follow developments in the case which seem to be causing Barry some problems. When Marian catches an old high school flame, James, stalking around her apartment building parking lot all of her suspicions are directed toward him. Addison puts her investigative reporter hat on and decides Marian needs to get closer to James to see if he is involved with the murder.
Marian is nervous about being wired and going on a date with James, but does it since she's been assured that her friends will be close by. When she catches James being his old hound dog self, flirting with a younger woman when she went to the restroom, she explodes and ends the date. She does however let him take her back to the office building to get her car. He drops her off at the front of the building not realizing her car is in the back parking lot. The temps are cold so she hits her remote start when she gets to the edge of the parking lot and her car explodes. Now she knows someone is out to kill her. It's personal, not something against Food Porn.
This is an easy, enjoyable read and despite sex being in the title, this could be enjoyed by young adults. So, if you are looking for sexy scenes, you won't find them in this book. The story is told through Marian so we know everything she knows. The secondary characters are well rounded and entertaining, especially Marian's parents. There are some interesting plot twists and a couple of red herrings thrown in to divert your attention to details, and I was caught off guard by the killer. I am sure the author considers that a plus.
Format/Typo Issues: I came across no significant issues.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** January 5, 2015
In that vein of "chick-lit murder mysteries" popularized by Janet Evanovich, the book treats readers to a down-to-earth and relatable lead character, Marian Moyer. Most of us women have a touch of Marian inside us; and we've all had those drop-dead gorgeous friends, like Marian's bestie Addison, to relate to as well. Janda scores high marks for creating a protagonist that we wholeheartedly root for. The novel also does an excellent job of supplying that required list of suspects that any mystery must include: the one you know you are meant to suspect, the one you know you're supposed to trust, the diversion, and the red herring. Just when you think you've put that list in order, Janda mixes it all up a bit. It's the kind of writing technique that I know I'd never be able to execute half as convincingly, and it goes a long way in making the read worthwhile.
There were times when I began to feel that the text was trying a little too hard to be clever, which should never have been worry. Janda need not rely upon cliched metaphors or turn every sentence into a complex somersault of literary prowess. I seemed to notice this more at the beginning of the book, and so feel fairly confident that as Janda's manuscript evolved she easily settled into a more comfortable and non-forced rhythm.
Overall, however, my abiding memory of this book will be that it made me smile. In these days of so much seriousness and global empathy, that counts for quite a lot. Now that I feel I know Marian Moyer like a new literary friend, I very much look forward to reading Janda's further books in the series.
Book one was brilliant. Even though I knew the characters in book two, the story end was a real surprise to me. The storyline kept me interested all the way through.
I want to read more of her work now. Brilliant story, brilliant author.
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