Murder Can Crash Your Party
Obsidian, May 2008, $6.99
Private Investigator Desiree Shapiro is invited to be the guest speaker at the Arresting Women’s Mystery Convention in Connecticut. Since she needs to get out of Manhattan, she accepts. While having brunch the day after her speech, Belle Simone and her secretary Gary Donleavy join her with a business proposition. Belle has written a book and if Desiree can solve the case by identifying the killer based on the three clues she is given, the author will give her $29,940.
Since business is extremely slow, Desiree accepts the challenge. She starts reading the manuscript about a man named Rob who came home to a surprise birthday party given by his wife Tess. She pours him champagne for a toast, but he puts it down on a nearby table without drinking it; he swears he will drink it after he changes clothing. Later that night he keels over and dies. The police consider he may have been poisoned either with champagne he had later or with his dinner. Desiree uses her imagination, but even with the help of her friends, she struggles to figure out who the killer is.
With a story inside a story, this is a fascinating intellectual whodunit that has the heroine at the end of her wits trying to solve the case. The chapters from Belle’s book are smoothly sprinkled throughout the tale so that the audience can join Desiree by trying to identify the culprit. Fans will also see how far Desiree and Nick have come while his son still hates her. However, it remains the enjoyable challenge of matching wits with Desiree that makes MURDER CAN CRASH YOUR PARTY refreshing and fun.