Chasing Venus – Diana Dempsey

This may be one instance where I shouldn’t have judged a book by its cover- this is not merely the fluffy romance i had expected! The title and cover don’t say murder-mystery-romance to me, but I was pleasantly surprised: Diana Dempsey is fast becoming one of my frothy go-to authors. Annie is a recently divorced who-dunnit author just finding success, but when a serial killer begins offing her contemporaries in the same style as their book characters, she finds herself framed. Faced with certain arrest, Annie becomes a fugitive, enlisting Reid, a former cop, as her reluctant shelter. Reid had contacted Annie in his role as presenter of a crime-fighting television show, but when she goes on the lam, Reid finds himself risking it all when he believes her side of the story.

Kooks for your Kindle?– No overabundance of wacky sidekicks here, although I wouldn’t have complained if Annie’s hippy parents had played a larger role, they had potential. Reid’s colleague Sheila was thoughtfully written, even as a lesser role of the jealous former lover. Reid has his own demons, obsessing over another killer more personal to his past.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Annie’s no bimbo, she’s an intelligent writer who also has the nerve to turn fugitive for as long as it takes to clear her name. At first I thought she was nuts for going on the run, and later breaking and entering; but she’s a tough cookie who thinks quickly in a crisis. In all the Dempsey books I’ve read so far the leads have all been strong, intelligent women, but still with variation of character.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– The action takes place up and down the length of California, from fancy beachfront homes to modest apartments to a cabin in the woods. Of course in this day and age it’s not possible to go to ground for too long before being caught, so the tale is of a period of only a week or so.

Evaluation of your eBook?– I’m pleased to say I didn’t guess who the killer was before I was supposed to, and I like to think that’s due to the skill of the author, not my own addled brain. There’s some romance, although I thought their discussions about their future was a bit of a moot point when she was up for 4 counts of murder and he was aiding and abetting, but people have their own coping methods! The best news is, right now the book is totally free (see links below), but even if it wasn’t, it would still be worth it for an easy to read murder mystery with some added romance.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Free at Amazon and WHSmith.

US: Free at Kobobooksand Amazon

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