Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Hollywood Forever
Author: Susan Goldstein
Release Date: January 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Hollywood
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Susan's Website/Blog: www.susangoldsteinbooks.com
Samantha Crowley is at a loss. She never thought her perfect existence in Beverly Hills would be anything less than perfect. So when she finds herself in the midst of a divorce and trying to figure out what to do with her live, she is being plagued by everyone from real estate agents to therapists to hair dressers who all want a piece of the divorce pie. What Samantha wants is a little different. She’d like to see a certain someone—but not her husband—die. As we learn whom she wants dead and why, we’re off to a serious, but silly, start to the story.
Unfortunately, somebody doesn’t want her to succeed. She is almost killed by a seemingly deranged man when she is taking her morning walk. That man, Jack, ends up telling her why he was there to kill her. Turns out he’s an ex-cop with a decent reason for pulling a gun on her. As the days go by, everyone she meets with ends up dead. Jack turns out to be her only hope in clearing her name.
Can she really trust Jack? And will he be able to help her stay one step ahead of a potential killer? Join Samantha and Jack as they have funny escapades while trying to find a murderer.
This was a well-written debut novel for Susan Goldstein. She has some rough spots around the edges, but I see her as an up and coming author to keep an eye on. She has an excellent premise for the story and she develops characters that come alive off the page. What I got stuck on was all the red herrings and the seemingly endless number of suspects. There were a few obscure clues that could have led me to figuring out who did it, but it felt like she kept leading me down rabbit trails in order to confuse and divert.
Another thing that Susan Goldstein did well was adding insight into Hollywood and the landmarks. She also gives some interesting and unique background on the sights of modern Hollywood while also sharing some of the legends from the past. I think she’s got a debut that will keep readers coming back to see her grow as she gets more polished in her writing. Seriously, keep your eye out for more from a skilled writer!
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