Saturday, November 26, 2005

Mystery Book Review: High Heels and Homicide by Kasey Michaels

Title: High Heels and Homicide
Author: Kasey Michaels
Publisher: Kensington Books (Paperback Original)
Publication Date: December 2005
ISBN: 0-7582-0880-4
Series Character(s): Maggie Kelly and Alexandre Blake, Viscount Saint Just
Entry in Series: Fourth

The latest book in the Maggie Kelly series, High Heels and Homicide, is a delightfully funny mystery set largely in an atmospheric 17th century English manor house during a dark and stormy night.

The unusual twist in this series is that mystery author Maggie Kelly has created a fictional Regency-era character for her books, the aristocrat-detective Alexandre Blake, Viscount Saint Just, who has mysteriously come to life with all the characteristics that Kelly imbued in him but without any knowledge or experience of modern life. This premise makes for many comical situations, and Michaels takes full advantage of them in her mysteries.

Maggie and Saint Just leave New York for England where a production of one of Maggie's mysteries is being filmed. The weather is miserable, and the constant rain has flooded the grounds around the manor house where the cast and crew are housed, cutting them off from the outside world. Not long after Maggie argues with the screenwriter who is adapting her book for the film, he's found hanging outside her bedroom window. Another body is soon found, and there are suspects aplenty. The secondary characters in this series play an important role in this book, and are every bit as interesting as Maggie and Saint Just.

Michaels captures the essence of the movie industry very well with all its personalities, egos, and insecurities. The action moves along at a brisk pace, and the dialog is frequently funny and entertaining. The fact that the author spends more time on “romance” than “mystery” in this romantic mystery is quibbling.

Don't judge this book by its cover … or its title for that matter. The original title for this mystery, Maggie Gets Some Direction, is not only more appropriate for the book and the series, but adds an ironic element to the storyline and the interplay of the principal characters.

Special thanks to Book Trends for providing the ARC of High Heels and Homicide for this review.

Read other recent mystery book reviews by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books.

Copyright © 2005 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books


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