Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Dead Air - 1st in the Talk Radio Mystery series
Author: Mary Kennedy
Release Date: January 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Southern Florida
Overall Rating: 3.75
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Mary's Website: www.marykennedy.net
Sheís only been in Cypress Grove a few short months; itís a change of pace from Manhattan and her clinical psychology practice. So far Maggie is enjoying her radio talk show On the Couch with Maggie Walsh. She gets to help all kinds: furverts, scared and helpless wives, oh, and letís throw in a threatening caller or two.
Though Maggie isnít aware of it, itís when her guest, Guru Sanjay, arrives that things really start happening in the seemingly quiet town. She can tell right away that the Guru is nothing but a con artist. He kind of gives her the creeps, but her listening audience loves him. Sheíll admit he does have an air of charisma about him, but thatís as far as sheíll go. Itís just lost on her, charisma-thing aside, what people, women see in him. Her roommate, Lark, included.
Perhaps she should have pursued that a bit because itís only hours later that the Guru is found dead and Lark is the one and only "person of interest" the police are focusing on. Lead detective on the case, Rafe Martino, apparently doesnít feel thereís a need to look for other "persons of interest". In fact heís quite rude about the whole thing.
Maggie doesnít hesitate a second before deciding to start her own investigation. If the police arenít interested in finding the real murderer, then sheíd just hand the murderer to Detective Martino on a silver platter.
Danger and subterfuge swirl around Maggie. Lucky for her she has her mother, Lola, helping her with the case. They uncover a lot of clues with no evident motive. The further they dig, the more people they find who wouldnít mind seeing Guru Sanjay dead. Surely thereís one clue that will lead to them to murderer. Isnít there?
What a bumpy ride Maggie and Lola take the reader on! The bizarre sleuthing partnership they formed is quite entertaining. With both women bringing intelligence, sass, and (sometimes shaky) courage to the investigation, the potential suspects in question better watch out.
The supporting cast was integral to the Daring Duoís investigation; Nick provided enlightening info and much support, Vera Mae was a hoot, a stalwart cheerleader (she reminded me of Flo from the TV show, Alice), Rafe was an easy target to boo and hiss at (he treated Maggie as if she got her degree with box tops from cereal, and I didnít like it!óSince Maggie got over his rudeness I guess I can, too, though I think she only did so because heís so sexy), and the suspects were oddly sympathetic characters who each had a valid-to-them reason for wanting Guru dead.
Hopefully everyone who was helpful to Maggie will be back in full force in the next book in the Talk Radio Mystery series. I donít think she could solve a crime with as much gusto and panache without them; nor do I think the story would be as enjoyable.
Ms. Kennedy has created a winning ensemble and formula. Nicely done.
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