Monday, January 09, 2017

Third Time's A Crime - Diana Orgain

Third Time’s A Crime
A Love Or Money Mystery
Diana Orgain
Berkley Prime Crime

Mystery

Georgia Thornton knows that there’s no way she’ll ever be a member of the SFPD again.  Especially not after appearing on two different Reality TV shows.  Still, it’s not all bad.  On the first show (A FIRST DATE WITH MURDER) she met Scott, who just may be the love of her life.  On the second show (A SECOND CHANCE AT MURDER) shot on location in Spain, Scott sustained a traumatic head injury.  Now physically healed and home, Georgia and Scott will be partners on a third show, back in California, called “Cold Case in the Castle.”  On this show, five teams of two will attempt to solve the decades-old murder of a young woman who worked at the “castle” when it was used as a reform school.

For Georgia, the stakes are higher this time.  Producers of an established show are considering offering her a permanent job as host.  The job offer, and new career trajectory, is contingent on Georgia and Scott either ‘winning’ the show by solving the mystery, or placing in the top two teams.  The first night, as a storm moves in, a flock of black birds pelt the property, thrilling the psychic and ghost hunter team, and delighting the producer to no end.  The following morning, Georgia discovers a body in the empty pool behind the building.  It’s the caretaker of the grounds.  Production must continue, commands the producer, so the filming and investigating resumes that afternoon.  Almost immediately, accidents begin happening to the cast.  Within a couple of days, there’s another body.

This is the third installment in this series, and it does not disappoint.  There are enough unexplained/spooky things that happen during filming to make even skeptic Georgia consider that the paranormal just might be real.  Since Scott is a horror writer, that might be very interesting direction to explore in future (I hope) books.  The underlying mystery is interesting, and the investigation of the huge, old house took me back to being a kid, reading Nancy Drew mysteries.   

In the first few chapters, Scott drops a bomb on Georgia: because of his recent head injury, Scott knows, intellectually, that he and Georgia are in love; but he doesn’t feel it.  For Georgia, this is a serious shock.  It’s frankly too big a shock to work out over the course of a few days while filming a reality show.  This is the only element of the story that didn’t work for me.  To counter that, though, is the behind-the-camera chaos of making a reality show for TV.  The cast, those in front of the cameras, are usually pretty eccentric.  But I find the people behind the cameras – the hair and makeup people, the camera operators, the techs, are quite entertaining.  I’d be happy to see more in this series, but the ending here would wrap things up nicely, too.  I know I’ll be following this author no matter which way it goes.



Rating:7 ½ 
January 2017

ISBN# 978-0-425-27170-4  (paperback)

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