Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mothers, Daughters, and Other Mysteries by Heather McPhaul

Don't let the title fool you, this is a story of relationships, but it is also a legitimate murder mystery served up with inter-active humour, sometimes quirky, sometimes laugh-out-loud, sometimes with snappy wit. There are many different relationships between mothers and daughters: love, pride, disappointment, competition, among others. This book has them all.

Imagine the insecurity and fate of a young woman who has not quite found her niche in life. Now imagine her mother, a famous soap opera actress, strong, confident, and not 30 pounds overweight. On the other hand even she, Ava Gerard, has her own fears to conquer...she has never won an Emmy! Here we have the basis for the relationship between Heather McPhaul's two main characters. Still, many can relate to at least some aspects of these relationships.

Leann Conklin has a difficult time with her many choices of work, but has finally found the one that at least has one customer. She is on her first day as a private investigator and is hired by the wife of a supposed cheating high-profile husband, Joseph Marlens, to take photos of night-time activities in his office where she believes he is having an affair with his new secretary, Brenda. No problem, a handy perch, perfect view to take the photos that very night, but they only appear to be working, nothing more.

After work, Marlens escorts her to her cab then returns to his own car and is immediately shot to death! Oh, oh! Looks like another short term job for Leann. But wait! Why is her picture plastered all over the news? And just who is this cop that keeps showing up everywhere? Surveillance or something more sinister? She wasn't even there when the shooting happened, but now she must either run for her life or wait for the murderer to catch up with her.

Heather McPhaul has a wonderful quirky style of writing. She can switch locations and personalities at a moments notice without losing the plot. This book gives her plenty to work with as naturally, the plot is about to thicken like glue! But this is where our perception of the mother-daughter relationship alters. They actually not only work together, they work well together and the humour flies. Fast paced, with an actress in the mix, the book is given a lot of opportunity to entertain. The mystery and the chase to keep Leann from being arrested or killed covers a lot of ground quickly. The story spins out in rapid speed to the final confession.

Loose ends are tied up, but there seems to be a possibility of a man in Leann's future, even the possibility of a partnership of some type, whether it will be romantic, friendly, or working relationship remains to be seen, but sounds like a good deal to me. However, we will have to wait and see if anything comes of it. For now, we will have to just sit back and enjoy this attention-grabbing book and leave the rest to chance, or to the author.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the wonderful review, Betty! Look forward to other readers getting some chuckles from the book, too! It can be purchased at Amazon and B&N.