Former teen idol Sandy Fairfax is a guest panelist on a TV game show—and the first category is murder! When his kid brother, Warren, is framed for killing a college student, Sandy makes it his duty to track down the thug before the police move in. After all, Sandy did play a detective once on a hit TV show. Sandy will get right on the case—right after he visits his kids; fights with his ex; woos his hoped-to-be girlfriend, Cinnamon; and convinces his parents he should be the special entertainment at a black tie gala designed to raise funds for his father’s faltering orchestra. All this while he and his biggest fan attempt to “Raise The Stakes” on a rigged quiz show where––wonder of wonders––the murder victim had recently been a contestant. Sandy’s ready to pull out some of his long blond hair as the game points and the suspects pile up.
I first met Sandy Fairfax in The Baffled Beatlemaniac, where Sandy ferrets out the murderer at a Beatles convention. This time around, Sandy's (aka Ernest Farmingham) brother, Warren, is on the hook for the murder of one of his college students. The victim (and thereby the case) literally falls into Sandy's lap, as the dying man falls onto Sandy, knocking him to the ground.
Said young man had recently been a contestant on a game show that Sandy believes is rigged. Sandy 'volunteers' to be a guest celebrity on this show in order to see if there is a connection to the murder from that angle. After all, he is trying to exonerate Warren for the crime. I'm guessing (a little quiz show pun) that the culprit will not be particularly pleased that Sandy is on the job.
At first, I was a little sad for Sandy. An 'aging' (he's almost forty for goodness sake! *lol*) child star. First he did a convention, then a sitcom (The Sinister Sitcom), a cruise (The Cunning Cruise Ship, and now, a game show. He's not battling A-listers for those jobs. Even this takes me back to my youth and the shows like Love Boat and Fantasy Island that always featured one or two celebrities each week and the game shows like Hollywood Squares, Match Game, $25000 Pyramid (I actually remember when that one started, it was the $10000 Pyramid).
On the other hand, he gets to headline a fundraiser concert for his father's orchestra, which has fallen on hard times. It's great to see the family crucible which formed and supports Sandy. Add to that the facts that he has been married and divorced, with children, is a recovering alcoholic and is keen on a new lady. One thing is for certain, life will never be dull with Sandy around!
MEET THE AUTHOR
She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award and “Star Collector” was produced in New York City.
Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.
She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain, and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.
The Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series is comprised of: “The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper” (2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel), “The Sinister Sitcom Caper,” “The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper” and "The Quirky Quiz Show Caper."
She has short stories in two anthologies: “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in” in “Last Exit to Murder” and “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” in “Plan B: Omnibus.”
Carpenter penned chapter three of the Cozy Cat Press group mystery "Chasing the Codex."
To atone for her sins of killing fictional people, she also writes the monthly Roots of Faith column for the Acorn Newspapers.
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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.)