Returning home after the party, Nic and Nigel find their house in shambles and their employee DeDee Evans beaten within an inch of her life. And when the weapon used to pummel DeDee implicates beloved actress Christina Franklin, Nic and Nigel drink and banter their way into a modern-day version of a golden-era crime caper.
Nic and Nigel Martini have a great relationship. They both are snarky and if there was ever a town that needs more snark it's Hollywood. And I think it was great that they slapped a black bow-tie on their dog and walked him on the Red Carpet! Self-important stage monsters (mothers) and patronizing police detectives are just two targets of their unique sense of humor.
The Martini's bought their house from a Hollywood producer. Years ago his daughter took candid video backstage on a movie set where the star died during production. The male lead in the movie, John used to have a thing going with Melanie, but he dumped her for Christina, the up-and-coming (and younger) starlet. Now Christina is on top, having won an Oscar, but John has moved on to a 20 years younger, no-talent, Hollywood wannabe who happened to get pregnant. The way things work in that town, it's a wonder the tabloids have to
Nic and Nigel are the two most un-Hollywood types in Killer Cocktail, and are voices of reason in the sea of craziness. How did they get so grounded? Ms. Kiely gives us glimpses here and there into Nic and Nigel's past, and it would be interesting to see how they stayed sane. ;)
When the Martini's return home after the Oscar after-party, their house is a shambles and their employee may or may not live. The key to the present-day crime may just be in the past. Nothing gets someone more riled up than when you mess with their family. And Nic and Nigel considered DeDee part of their 'family'. So when she is attacked and nearly killed, the Martini's are on the case. And the more they dig (in Hollywood), the more secrets they uncover - secrets that some people would rather stay buried - for their 'reputation'. (If they were so image-conscious, why'd they do what they did in the first place?)
Ms. Kiely is a wonderful guide to the jungles of Hollywood, where most people present one face to the world, and a different one to the morning mirror. There are several 'switchbacks' in Killer Cocktail that I did not see coming, but they made the ride all the more exciting. Think of this series like a gilt-edged, embossed invitation to the biggest after-party in Hollywood. Everybody wants to be there.
MEET THE AUTHOR
After spending years of trying to find a proper job that would enable her to use her skills garnered as an English major, she decided to write a book. It would, of course, have to be a mystery; it would have to be funny; and it would have to feature an average person caught up in extraordinary circumstances. She began to wonder how the characters in Pride and Prejudice might fit into a mystery. What, if after years of living with unbearably rude and condescending behavior, old Mrs. Jenkins up and strangled Lady Catherine? What if Charlotte snapped one day and poisoned Mr. Collins’ toast and jam? Skip ahead several years, and several different plot ideas, and you have her first mystery Murder at Longbourn.
While she does not claim to be Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, or Hitchcock (one big reason being that they’re all dead), she has tried to combine the elements of all three in her books.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)