By Kasey Michaels
Published Nov 2007
Maggie Kelly is a sucessful historical mystery writer whose studdly hero,Alexandre Blake, the Viscount Saint Just, has come to life to help her solve murders. In this sixth (and perhaps last?) book of the series, Maggie and Alex are in Ocean City, NJ for Christmas with Maggie’s disfunctional family. When her father, Evan Kelly, is arrested by the police for the murder of a member of his bowling team, Maggie and Alex immediately are on the case. Untangling the clues as to who the real murderer is take Maggie and Alex romping through family secrets and casinos. Interspersed between the chapters are short tips to aspiring writers on writing a mystery that not so inconsequently, provide a clue or two towards solving the book’s murder.
If someone had tried to explain Maggie and Alex to me before I read the book, I would have found it difficult to believe that I could suspend disbelief for even the basic premise that the hero of a book could come to life. However Kasey Michaels brings it off with wit and finesse. Maggie and her family seem very real and Alex is a well drawn caricature of the romantic hero while providing a bit of romance to the novel. Michaels made me more than a little nostalgic for Ocean City, a town I love but unfortunately have not been to in years. The book was light, funny and a first-class mystery puzzle. Not for those of you who like Noire. But I recommend this book.