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Murder Off Mike by Joyce Krieg

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Crazy people call talk radio shows, and Shauna J. Bogart loves every bit of it. Conspiracy theories, arguments, idiot callers&#8212these are the stock in trade of the talk jock.

But when one of her callers says he’s witnessed a murder&#8212the murder of a fellow talk-radio personality and a good friend&#8212things change. Especially after the wound is deemed self-inflicted by the police. Shauna knows better, and she decides to find out exactly what is going on.

This debut mystery novel is a compelling read. The details offered into the business of radio are realistic and plausible (evidence of the author’s prior work in radio in the Sacramento area). The characterizations for the main characters are thorough&#8212if not a bit too detailed; I wonder what we can possibly learn about the main characters in subsequent books, with the detailed backstory we are given in this one. The reader may think that the details in the story are too much, but they are essential to parts of the plotline. The description of the setting is similarly detailed&#8212I felt pretty familiar with the area once I finished the book.

My one problem with this book is the characterizations of those people who are not going to be in future books&#8212not really minor characters, since one is the villain of the book, but not really major characters either, because the detail of description present in every other aspect of the book is absent here. The instant I met the villain of the story, I knew that they were going to be behind everything&#8212just by the way they were written. This made the rest of the book almost anti-climactic, since I was simply waiting to see the murderer revealed. Each new clue made me say “Yep&#8212I was right!!” It’s nice to be correct about the solution to a murder mystery&#8212but not halfway through the book.

This book was an impulse purchase&#8212I was looking for a change from the steady diet of science fiction I had been reading, and this mystery was a welcome change. I’m looking forward to reading Krieg’s next offering in this series.

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About Warren Kelly

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    A less-demanding read can be very refreshing – and it’s hard not to apply the same criteria to the “beach novel” that you expect from your favored genre.

    Nice review, Warren!