Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: The Diva Haunts the House - 5th in the Domestic Diva Mystery series
Author: Krista Davis
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: September 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Romantic/Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Old Town Alexandria
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Krista's Website: divamysteries.com
Sophie Winston was in charge of the communityís haunted house. Along with adult volunteers there were a handful of kids, Vegas, Jesse, Blake, and Jen (Sophieís niece), helping out, too. Their eye for detail and creativity delighted Sophie. It was going to be creepy but exciting, hopefully the best haunted house to date.
Setting up the haunted house was time-consuming in itself; scaring up time to prep for Jenís Halloween birthday party had herself just about meeting herself coming and going. What she really, really didnít need was her discovery of Patrickís dead body (Blakeís momís boyfriend), presumably by Vampire bite, to fuel excitement and fears in the kids. Well Iíll be darned, thatís exactly what happened.
Determined to get to the truth, to prove Vampires donít exist, Sophie dug here and there in the attempt to shed some light on Patrickís murder. It was a matter of urgency as she suspected the killer thought she, Jen, and Vegas could identify them.
Naturally the drama escalated. Suspicious and haunting things were going on in the haunted house, aside from the frightful and fun things the volunteers rigged. Was the killer behind the activity biding time until the next unscrupulous move could be made?
Sophie was determined to keep the kids safe but they didnít make it easy for her. She was eager for enough evidence to emerge in order to be able to put the rumors and Vampire conjecture to rest, and to make sure a murderer was put behind bars.
Sooner rather than later, thank you very much. Before someone else got hurt. With so many people affected in one way or another by the events snowballing, a quick resolution seems to be just out of reach.
With a fine balance, Krista Davis combines spookiness with thrills and many red herrings, creative and speculative theories, and an interesting variety of players whose interaction with Sophie and the storyline captured this readerís interest.
I was happy to get to know new characters, Wong (who I hope will appear in future books), Vegas, and yes even Heather--sorry, you have to read the book to find out who she is.
Where will Ms. Davis take the reader next? With a great and diverse cast, an interesting and historical locale, and a slight cliffhanger, I suppose weíll have to, perhaps a bit impatiently, wait and see.
It doesnít have to be Halloween to get a kick out of this mysterious adventure.
A one-of-a-kind series to be sure!
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