Ill-Timed Entanglements by Kassandra Lamb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ill-Timed Entanglements (The Kate Huntington Mystery Series #2 )by Kassandra Lamb
I loved this Kate Huntington mystery. I'm not even certain how I obtained this book. It might have been recommended from reading another mystery. I do like mysteries. I enjoyed Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and many of Agatha Christie's and Rex Stout's Nero Wolf even Poe's Auguste Dupin. I also enjoy those popular television mysteries such as Columbo, Hart to Hart, Murder She Wrote, Munk, and even Psych. I recall many of these from a time when I'd sit with friends and we'd actively help solve the crime before the intrepid detectives.
It was hard to refrain from trying to solve the mystery so much that within the first 10 percent of the novel I was certain I had the answer. Betty Franklin is an elderly writer who is living in a retirement home and making a modest living off current best sellers when her agent, Sara Burnett calls with the exciting news that her latest book the publisher is picking up was so well received that they want two more and are offering a large advance. But then a woman in Betty's writers group, Doris Blackwell, accuses Betty of stealing her work and putting it into that latest novel and Betty has to call Sara and delay things until the legalities are all covered. Doris ends up murdered and Betty become s the prime suspect.
[spoiler]So I have this all figured out because Sara has a lot on the line here and we know how ruthless agents can be.[not really spoiler]
So that was too easy and Kassandra Lamb proceeds to show me how far off that might be. There are a thousand suspect, well more than a handful and then some.
I've not read the previous book but this book stands well alone and I think I got the gist of some of what happened in the first book, but if you are someone who can't stand having things spoiled and you haven't read the first book you probably should. As for me I'll be looking for the first book because I enjoyed these characters so much and would like to see how well they were 'drawn' in the previous book.
The mystery is the focus and there is more than one murder so plenty to go around with all the suspects. And we thought elderly communities were boring, bingo bazaars. Kate Huntington is a psychotherapist getting ready to return to work after maternity leave. -real spoiler- she is returning after being widowed and becoming a single mother to her daughter Eddie (named after her father).
As the story picks up Kate is enlisted by her friend Bob Franklin to travel to New York with his aunt Betty to iron out the wrinkle. Of course they never make it to New York because Betty is a suspect in a murder case. Within a short time the cast of detectives begin to assemble as the team begins to form with the purpose of quickly laying to rest any doubt of Betty's innocence. And the reader soon finds out that that is not happening soon and the body count is going to start going up.
This book contains some pop references and some are presented in a sort of tongue in cheek humorous fashion. They come close to cliche but mostly pop references. One in particular is to Perry Mason and this book does bring to mind the team of Perry Mason, Paul Drake, and Della Street. Only in this case Della (Kate) is going to have a large part in solving the case. With all these references I was almost not sure when one of the characters calls out "Oh Rob!" and if you don't understand that one then you are too young.
A few times a character makes up his own words and is called on the carpet for it.(Is this a writer-reader-writer group dig? I'm not sure.)
This book has a lot of characters, but they are not that difficult to keep track of.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention there are a few mistakes in the editing of the book nothing glaring just wrong words, I think. And for those who are sensitive to head hopping there were a few times I had to stop and think. In some instances it's limited to two characters ping ponging back and forth and Kassandra does do a lot of character thoughts . I have no problem with two characters and sometimes in romance it almost becomes appropriate but might work better if they were more well defined with pseudo scene breaks. There were times where a scene had the thoughts of at least three characters and those were the ones that might have given me pause. So yes beware of that. Most of the time it was quite smoothly done and had it been confined mostly between Skip and Kate I might not have even noticed. As it is Kassandra handles it quite well overall.
Good Mystery for those who like the who dun its and a healthy dose of romance to go along.
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