Wednesday, January 22, 2014

THE CHRISTIE CURSE by Victoria Abbott


Publisher:  Berkley
Published:   March 5, 2013
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Book format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Three -1/2 hearts

Famed author, Agatha Christie, turned the tables on her philandering husband one fine day in 1926 and she not only took off to a spa for a week’s retreat—she did it under an assumed name—that of her husband’s mistress.  What happened in those days living under another name?  Did she walk the streets in search of an answer why her husband cheated on her?  Hide in her room with a broken heart?  Or did she write a play that to date no one has found?

Vera Van Alst is the most hated woman in Harrison Falls.  She sits in her mansion tended to in style while the town struggles to get by.  At least that’s what they think is going on.  A bibliophile of epic portions Vera collects rare volumes with an array of books that would make any book lover green.  When Vera learns of the heretofore unknown Christie play she simply must have it.  To obtain it she hires fresh from college Jordan Bingham to track down the elusive tome. 

Even though Jordan herself has a rather by the book past, her relatives do not.  Raised by uncles who at best skirted the law she’s taken a different path with her life and she wants the job finding Vera’s missing manuscript.  Before she can begin her quest – which includes some help from hunky high school dream guy Lance, she notices she’s picked up a tail in the form of a kinda cute cop that she quickly names Officer Smiley.  But cops are not on her agenda—one of those throwbacks to how she was raised.  But when death begins to turn up on her doorstep Jordan may need to turn not just to the cops but to the famed mystery writer herself.  Could even Agatha track down THIS killer?

THE CHRISTIE CURSE is the book by mother / daughter team named Victoria Abbott I read.  It definitely will not be the last.  The duo has a wonderful combined voice with some funny quips that had my chuckling out loud.  The mystery of why Alex Fine was killed was well done.  I kinda thought I knew who did it but that comes from being a long time cozy fan and reading several a month over the years.  If you haven’t read a cozy mystery you might want to check one out.  They generally have a hint of romance, a “who done it” with fun and unexpected twists and quirky characters.  They’re generally easy reads that give at least some of the characters a happy ending after drawing you in to solve the mystery along with the heroine. THE CHRISTIE CURSE is good place to start.

There were a few threads that didn’t quite flesh out—such as just what were the uncles involved in but the each have a unique personality and are a hoot to read.  Signora Panetone was a crack up to read and I have to admit there were a few times she had my mouth watering with the descriptions of meals she prepared. 

Although co-written the authors’ voices blend together really well—you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.  There’s a nice flavour to their writing and I look forward to the rest of the series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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