Friday, January 18, 2019

Review - New Year's Eve Murder

Author:  Leslie Meier 
Series:  Lucy Stone Mystery #12
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington Books
Format:  Kindle
No. of pages:  304
Published:  2005; 2006
My Rating:  4.5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

After the annual parade of Christmas presents in Tinker's Cove has ended, Lucy Stone and her daughter Elizabeth are ready to ring in the new year in style. Elizabeth has won mother/daughter winter makeovers in Manhattan from Jolie magazine! But the all-expenses-paid trip is bound to have some hidden costs--and one of them is murder. . .

After finally arriving at the offices of Jolie, meeting their fellow makeover candidates, and being treated to a fashion show, Elizabeth is enamored of the extreme outfits and stick-thin models--while Lucy's having some misgivings. The pampering is nice and the glitz and glamour of haute couture is bizarrely fascinating, but bitterness and aggression lurk behind Jolie's hipper-than-thou fa├žade. And things turn downright ugly when self-absorbed fashion editor Nadine Nelson falls mysteriously ill and then dies. . .

Lucy saw first-hand some of the backstabbing going on at Jolie. And the red-hot rumor mill soon reveals that the cliquish connection among the magazine's cabal of high-style executives has stirred up plenty of bad blood over the years. But this Manhattan murder mystery hits too close to home when Elizabeth gets rushed to the hospital with symptoms that are disturbingly similar to Nadine's. Now, it's up to Lucy to dress down a killer before the ball drops in Times Square. . .

MY THOUGHTS:

It is New Year’s Eve and Lucy Stone is excited to be able to spend it in New York with her oldest daughter Elizabeth. They are part of a team of mothers and daughters after Elizabeth won a winter makeover contest. The grand prize winners will win $10,000. As Lucy and husband Bill have gotten a letter informing them that they will be that much short for Elizabeth’s next year of college, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. 

Aside from looking forward to spending some one-on-one time with Elizabeth, Lucy hopes to visit with her long-time friend Samantha. However, they have a very full agenda, including fittings, photo shoots and the like. 

As all of the pairs are working hard at the activities, suddenly Nadine Nelson, the fashion editor, falls ill and dies. Nadine wasn’t always well-liked, and the rumor mill was very much at work, so foul play is definitely suspected. What’s worse is that Elizabeth falls seriously ill and is hospitalized with very similar symptoms that affected Nadine before her death. 

Lucy is an amateur detective, and she jumps right in to track down the killer. Most definitely time is of the essence. As always, this cozy mystery was a quick read it had just enough bite and intrigue to engage me in one sitting. Usually Lucy solves these crimes in her hometown of Tinker’s Cove. She has her work cut out for her in the Big Apple. New Year's Eve Murder was a very enjoyable story and had a delightful conclusion. I have been enjoying these stories and this is book 12 of 26. I look forward to continuing with the series. 

These are all delightful reads and I look forward to continuing. I encourage readers of this review to look at my other reviews from this series on this blog. Also, here is a link to her series in order:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/m/leslie-meier/.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I started writing in the late ‘80s when I was attending graduate classes at Bridgewater State College. I wanted to become certified to teach high school English and one of the required courses was Writing and the Teaching of Writing. My professor suggested that one of the papers I wrote for that course was good enough to be published and I sent it off to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine’s Department of First Stories. I got $100 for the story and I’ve been writing ever since. The teaching, however, didn’t work out.

My books draw heavily on my experience as a mother of three and my work as a reporter for various weekly newspapers on Cape  . My heroine, Lucy Stone, is a reporter in the fictional town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine, where she lives in an old farmhouse (quite similar to mine on Cape Cod!) with her restoration carpenter husband Bill and four children. As the series has progressed the kids have grown older, roughly paralleling my own family. We seem to have reached a point beyond which Lucy cannot age–my editor seems to want her to remain forty-something forever, though I have to admit I personally am dying to write “Menopause is Murder!”

I usually write one Lucy Stone mystery every year and as you can tell, my editor likes me to feature the holidays in my books. Of course Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year and my newest mystery “Eggnog Murder,” is included in an anthology with two other Christmas novellas by Barbara Ross and Lee Hollis. I’ve long been a fan of the classic English country house mystery, and was a faithful watcher of “Downton Abbey,” so I couldn’t resist trying to write one. I think I succeeded rather well, if I do say so myself, with “British Manor Murder,” which came out in October, 2016.

My books are classified as “cozies” but a good friend insists they are really “comedies of manners” and I do enjoy expressing my view of contemporary American life.

Now that the kids are grown — we have five fabulous grandchildren — my husband and I are enjoying dividing our time between Braintree and Cape Cod, along with our cat, Sylvester.

Find Her:  Goodreads / Twitter / Web 

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