A Few Good Murders by Cady Kalian
Forge, August 2007
Mystery; 287 pgs
First Sentence: Carpe diem.
Reason for Reading: I read the first book in the Maggie Mars series and when I saw the second book being offered for review on Curled Up With a Good Book, I decided to give it a go.
Comments: I eagerly picked up Cady Kalian’s second novel, A Few Good Murders, to read. It would make a just the book to read when I most craved a light, quick and pleasurable mystery. It did not disappoint.
Following hot on the heels of Dead as It Gets, A Few Good Murders picks up not too long after the first novel ends. The former investigative reporter turned screenplay writer, Maggie Mars’s script for Murder Becomes Her is complete and the filming has commenced. As can be expected in every Hollywood movie endeavor, there is a hitch.
Allegra Cort, playing the leading role, couldn’t be more perfect except for the fact that she insists on putting her own touch on Maggie’s creation. She demands dialogue changes right and left and wants scenes cut that do not have her as the main focus. Allegra threatens to have Maggie thrown off the film if Maggie continues to refuse to budge on the latest of Allegra’s demands. In an effort to calm the stormy waters, Maggie agrees to meet with Allegra to discuss the matter; only it is a night that Maggie will never forget. The night ends in a heated argument and Maggie storms out of the star’s trailer.
Allegra Cort is found dead in her trailer the next morning, and Maggie is the prime suspect, having been the last person to see the actress alive. Her fingerprints are all over the weapon used to kill the star. Suddenly Maggie finds herself trying clear her name while at the same time trying to avoid death herself. It seems that someone wants her dead. Or is it just her imagination because of all the stress she is under?
Maggie Mars always has her own agenda and often disregards her own safety to go after the answers she seeks. She takes chances and sometimes comes across as oblivious. And yet, do not count her out; even when there may not seem to be a place to start, her blitz approach often gets her on the right track and once she is on the trail, there is no way to stop her. While she can be annoying at times, she still is a likeable character.
The novel is filled with familiar characters: Maggie’s eccentric father, the irresistibly sexy Joe, the flamboyant roommate, and the charming defense attorney. There are also plenty of new characters as well, adding to the colorful cast of characters. There is Kurt, the hockey player with a secret, Mitzi the psychic, the charismatic journalist Sheppard Scott, and the obnoxious assistant Lisa just to name a few.
With a joke on every page, dialogue that rarely fails to have a punch line, A Few Good Murders is full of humor and wit. The romance is not quite as heat inducing as it is in the first book in the series, but there are plenty of sparks between Maggie and her detective boyfriend. Maggie proves yet again that she cannot stay out of trouble. Cady Kalian’s novel is an easy-going mystery that will keep you turning pages and before you know it, you’ll have reached the end. Originally published on Curled Up With a Good Book © Wendy Runyon
Favorite Part: The visit to Alamogordo Public Library. Seeing someone put the resources of a library to good use is something I always like to see. I also liked the librarian.