|Kris Neri: Dem Bones' Revenge|
Books (Trade Paperback), ISBN 1568250819
Beginning her book with quotes from George Santayana ("Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.") and B.B. King ("Nobody loves me but my mother and she could be jiving, too"), Neri sets the tone for a top-notch mystery.
Mystery author and celebrity's daughter, Tracy Eaton starts her day off with less of a whimper and more of a scream. Her editor delivers the upsetting news that Tracy's latest book, Deadly Shadows, might be rejected. The short time allowed for the necessary revisions sends Tracy into a panic. While the faxed pages from her editor continue to drop to the floor from the machine, Tracy's sometimes-stuffy attorney husband, Drew, can't find his lucky tie as he readies himself for another career-making trial. 156825077-0
Things only get worse when Drew's oddball Uncle Philly tries involves himself in the morning's problems, and the local contractor shows up to work on remodeling the closets. Then the final shoe drops: Tracy's movie-star diva mother calls with the news that she has been accused of murdering sleazebag celebrity attorney Vince Sperry -- the plaintiff opposing Drew in his big case.
Tracy finds herself investigating, determined to clear her mother, even if they don't really get along. Although mom Martha seems just as determined to throw rocks in Tracy's path, suspects abound. From Drew (who might have wanted to assure the outcome of the civil trial by offing the plaintiff) to Tracy's father and former movie heartthrob, Alan Grainger, whose feud with Sperry became the stuff of Hollywood legend many years before.
But as Tracy begins to uncover the half-truths, legends and innuendoes, she realizes that the answer to this puzzle lies in the past -- a past full of scandal and suspicion. A past that everyone tries to keep buried at all costs.
An Agatha, Anthony and Macavity award nominee for her first book, Revenge of the Gypsy Queen, Kris Neri showcases her amazing talent with book two in the series. From page one to the book's closing page, the tight writing and clever use of faux movie scenes as chapter headings lead the reader further into a complex and entertaining story. Although the cast of characters sometimes reads like the cast list of an offbeat Broadway play, it works. Each character leaps from the page and makes his or her own mark on the reader's consciousness. Even secondary and tertiary characters feel real. Writing this good deserves all those award nominations -- maybe this year, the author will take home the prize.
Maria Y. Lima
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