Monday, December 4, 2017


Publisher:    Berkley
Published:     August 2, 2016
ISBN:         978-0451470850
Genre:      Cozy Mystery
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Amy-Faye Johnson’s friend Gemma Frant is a long time fan of Gothic romance.  Brooding heroes, seemingly fragile heroines who really have a core of steel, creepy castles and foggy nights all capture her fancy.  In honor of some of Gemma’s favorites she’s planned a Gothic Gala at her book shop, Book Bliss. Coincidentally, all of her favorites – Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, and Barbara Michaels, to name a few, were all born in September.  As part of the affair several of today’s best-known Gothic novelist have been invited to participate.  A full weekend’s worth of act ivies, including a writing contest to be judged by the visiting authors, has been planned. 

While one can expect a bit of drama when a group of creative personalities come together, the spectacle that erupts turns the event into something quite more.  A young woman shows up and throws what appears to be blood at one of the writers, a manuscript that wasn’t to be in the contest shows up in a most unusual manner and an attendee turns up dead.  Despite being pulled into investigating several murders before, after the death of her dear friend not long ago, the last thing Amy-Faye wants is to be involved in another suspicious death.  But when one of their own has a stake in the outcome, the Readaholics are soon on the case.

Laura DiSilverio’s Book Club mysteries are among my most favorite cozies to read.  While I also have enjoyed all her other series, this one is the one I like the best.  In each book the “Readaholics” pick another book to read and discuss and throughout the story DiSilverio adds bits of true history and facts around the authors and books being discussed.  She’s led me, more than once, to check out what the Readaholic characters are reading and I must say their choices have been excellent. 

Her latest, THE READAHOLICS AND THE GOTHIC GALA, had some fun twists and turns.  While I figured out what was going on with a certain item in the story as soon as it “appeared” because DiSilverio tells such a good story I couldn’t wait to see how the characters discovered what I was sure was going on.  It’s a fast paced, fun read with a couple of white knuckle moments. Just the right amount of red herrings with a couple of good chuckles made this a darn good read.

I’ve noticed that DiSlilverio ends her cozy series after four books and this is book four… I hope she breaks with her tradition on this one and continues if for no other reason than, as I said, I love sort of reading along with the Readaholics as they read books for discussion. 

You do not have to have read the earlier books in this series to enjoy this one or even read them in order, but I do encourage you to read them all because they are just that good.

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


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