Mystery/Thriller, Scout and Cellar Wine

Weekly Wine: THE SOCIALITE’S GUIDE TO MURDER

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

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SUMMARY

It’s 1958 and Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy has not left the Pinnacle Hotel in fourteen months. She suffers from agoraphobia, and what’s more, it’s her father’s hotel, and everything she needs is there. Evelyn’s always been good at finding things, she discovered her mother dead in a Manhattan alleyway fifteen years earlier. Now she’s finding trouble inside her sanctuary. At a party for artist Billie Bell, his newest work is stolen, and Evelyn’s fake boyfriend (and real best friend), movie star Henry Fox, is accused of the theft. But just as Evelyn sets out to prove Henry’s innocence, she finds Billie Bell dead.
 
The murder weapon links the crime to the hotel’s chief of security. But why would he use a knife with his initials on the handle? With her beloved home in disarray, Evelyn joins up with hotel employee (and her secret crush) Mac Cooper to get to the bottom of the case.
 
As Mac picks locks and Evelyn snoops around the hotel, they discover the walls around them contain more secrets than they previously knew. Now, Evelyn must force herself to leave the hotel to follow the clues—but when she and Mac set off to chase a lead, their car crashes and they barely escape with their lives. Someone snipped Evelyn’s brake lines, and now the stakes have become dangerously high.
 
Evelyn’s knack for sleuthing—and her playful imagination—are always hard at work, and she throws an elaborate party at the hotel where every guest is a suspect. But will the killer emerge from the glamorous lineup? If not, Evelyn just might find herself…next in line for murder.

MY TAKE

This book was so much fun, and it was a fantastic homage to Agatha Christie.

Though the tropes used, the plot, the set up, etc. was reminiscent of the queen of mysteries, the character of Evelyn has the wit, spunk, and glamour of a Janet Evanovich heroine. She’s such a fun but we’ll-rounded character. She has her flaws—she’s agoraphobic and a little spoiled—which she openly admits to, but she’s clever enough to solve a case with more red herrings than a fish market.

The chemistry between her and the male lead, Mac, was electrifying. You’ll find yourself rooting for them even before they realize they’re deeper feelings. 

Most importantly: I did NOT solve the case. The writer put in enough twists and turns that I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. If you want a fun read that will keep you guessing, this is the book for you!

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