“Dying to Read” by Lorena McCourtney (A Revell Blog Tour with Review)

All She Wanted Was a Paycheck…What She Got Was a Murder!

Cate Kinkaid’s life is . . . well, frankly it’s floundering. Her social life, her career, her haircut–they’re all a mess. Unemployed, she jumps at the chance to work for her PI uncle, even though she has no experience and no instincts. After all, she is just dabbling in the world of private investigating until she can find a “real” job.

All she has to do for her first assignment is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? But when she reaches the dark Victorian house, she runs into an hungry horde of gray-haired mystery readers and a dead body. This routine PI job is turning out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?

Dying to Read/By Lorena McCourtney/978-0-8007-2158-9/$14.99/Paperback/320 pages/Pub Date: August 2012

“Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Lorena McCourtney has spun a fast-paced and witty romantic mystery in her new book, Dying to Read.  From the very first chapter, she grabs your attention and keeps you hooked until the very end.

Cate Kinkaid is just dipping her toe into the world of private investigating until one of the many résumés she has floating around lands her a real job. All she has to do is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? When the big and brooding house happens to contain a dead body, this routine PI job turns out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?

Lorena McCourtney is the award-winning author of dozens of novels, including Invisible (which won the Daphne du Maurier Award from Romance Writers of America), In Plain Sight, On the Run, and Stranded. She resides in Oregon.

Source.

Endorsements:

“With each new mystery series Lorena McCourtney skillfully creates a unique sleuth—and Cate Kinkaid is no exception in Dying to Read. I loved all the witty prose and the laugh-out-loud moments I’ve come to expect when reading McCourtney’s mysteries. Seasoned with romance and a fascinating collection of peculiar characters, this clever tale will keep you guessing about more than murder. Never a dull moment, Dying to Read is a winner!”—Elizabeth Goddard, author of Carol Award–winning The Camera Never Lies

“Lorena McCourtney has fashioned a fun and engaging mystery that begs to be solved. And just when I thought I had figured it out, I realized she had added another layer. Mystery lovers, kick off your shoes, curl up somewhere comfortable, and prepare to be entertained! Dying to Read will keep you fully engrossed and guessing.”—Kathy Herman, author of The Baxter series, Seaport Suspense series, and Secrets of Roux River Bayou series

“I adore Lorena McCourtney books. She’s one of my favorite authors. Dying to Read adds a delightful new tale to her stack of engrossing and entertaining mysteries seasoned with her signature wry humor. The fun and intriguing plot is populated by interesting characters with fascinating quirks, foibles, and challenges. McCourtney keeps the pages turning with fresh developments in a case that lures rookie PI Cate Kinkaid ever deeper into skin-tingling danger. I can hardly wait for the next book in this exciting new series!”—Jill Elizabeth Nelson, award-winning author of Reluctant Burglar

My Review:

Cate Kinkaid has a teacher’s degree, but found she isn’t a teacher type.  She floated through a few miniscule jobs and failed.  She finally took up her Uncle Joe’s offer to be a P.I. while searching for a ‘real’ job.  She’s given a simple case.  Find a missing woman, Willow Bishop, and get her back in touch with relatives.   Cate found her address.  What could go wrong?

Outside the aforementioned address, several older, white-haired women were knocking and pounding to get into Amelia Robinson’s house, as it was her turn to host their Whodunit Book Club.  The conversation turned catty until Cate determined how to enter the house.  All had keys, so she borrowed one and opened up.  Willow was found to have hastily disappeared before their arrival.  When Amelia didn’t answer anyone’s call, Doris McClelland offered to go upstairs with Cate to hopefully find her.  What they found was a very dead Amelia at the bottom of the outside, rickety stairs.

Uncle Joe, meanwhile, had fallen off his ladder while cleaning the garage gutters and broke a hip, sending him into surgery and rehab.  He urged Cate to continue her search for Willow, whom she found, and from there the stories flow so freely that the truth may be floating in the midst of the conversations.

Though the initial catty conversations at the beginning seemed slow for me, they became essential to the balance of the story. The author heaps layer upon layer of suspense and suspicion that keeps your head reeling, wondering who Amelia’s killer was, and she kept the stories flowing from Willow’s mouth, upstaging Cate’s involvement!  In fact, she was involved in so many circumstances that her boss (Uncle Joe) and Mitch had told her to stay out of.  But it’s those suspicions and the suspense that keep you reading to find the truth.  The twisting plots don’t quit till the last page!

The characters, though I found the Book Club women catty, were true to the storyline. Willow was one to stretch the truth, but I found her to be the most interesting character.  She had Cate flustered at all points.  The romance end of the novel was intriguing, particularly between Amelia Robinson and Radford Longstreet, as well as Cate and Mitch and Willow and Coop.

The issue of faith does flow through the story when Cate finds she needs wisdom through prayer to know what to do in the flighty and dangerous circumstances she finds herself in.

Though this is quick read, you will find this to be a great ‘whodunit’ by the time the story ends!  Thoroughly entertaining!  It’s very well written, with overflowing suspense and the right amount of romance.

I did find the ending a little off-key in regards to Willow, only because of my legal background.  But it kept pace with her character throughout the storyline.

This book was provided free through Donna Hausler, Blog Tour Coordinator, for Revell Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was exchanged.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

For more information, visit www.RevellBooks.com

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