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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dark Music by Janis Susan May

Dark Music by Janis Susan May
Publisher: VinSpire Publishing
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (115 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Sunflower

A blizzard, romance writers and murder… Elizabeth MacAllister thought she had more to deal with than she could handle. Then Jared Granville showed up and Elizabeth knew her past had returned to haunt her. She couldn’t run away any longer… not even to save her own life.

Going to a writers' conference shouldn't turn out like a mystery novel. But sometimes, life is far more interesting than fiction. That's the case for Elizabeth MacAllister. As one of the big selling authors for her publisher, much to her protests, Elizabeth has been signed up to lead a workshop at the conference. Who knew that only being there could land her into so much trouble and mayhem?

With the author's vivid description, the first few pages played like a movie scene in my mind. However, there were a few confusing parts as the story jumped from the present to the heroine's flashbacks. While on the way to her destination, the reader is pulled from the current scene into bits and pieces of how and why the heroine was going to the conference. And that took away from the current scene in the story. But things got better once inside the hotel.

I liked Elizabeth. Janis Susan May wrote this in the first person point of view, which had its good points and not so good points. First person provided an opportunity to be in depth into Elizabeth's thoughts. But I would have liked to have read the story from another point of view, as well. In the beginning, Ms. May portrayed Elizabeth to be a bit of a follower. She seemed to be pulled in many directions in her life, meaning she wasn't entirely sure of what she wants, and too many people in her life pressured her to do such and such. But by the end of the book, she comes to terms with her past, and makes up her mind. And while the story's main focus is not the romance, there was a romantic interest involved. A man from Elizabeth's past, Jared.

The mystery in this book was full force. Each secondary character were both quirky and mysterious and, when the deaths began, each person became a suspect. I never figured out who the killer was and what a shock at the end when that answer was finally revealed. It was a typical old-fashioned who-done-it mystery where the leading character always managed to find herself in the midst of trouble. The ending wrapped up the conflict and I didn't feel as if any questions were left unanswered. Overall I found it to be a very enjoyable story.

If you like a cozy mystery setup, then settle under a warm blanket with Dark Music.