A New Star in the Real Estate Mystery Genre

The Bad Always Die Twice

By Cheryl Crane

Copyright August 2011

Publisher Kensington

 

For Nikki Harper, realtor to the stars and daughter of 1950s screen goddess Victoria Bordeaux, Hollywood is home. A completely dysfunctional home populated by a cast of crazies, true, but home nonetheless. While Nikki’s no stranger to scandal, she’s shocked to receive a hysterical phone call from her business partner, Jessica Martin, saying that TV has-been Rex March has been found dead in Jessica’s bed.

More shocking than Rex’s death is the fact that, as far as anyone knew, Rex was already dead. Six months ago, the star of the seventies sitcom Shipwrecked Vacation was supposedly killed when his plane crashed in the Mojave Desert. Nikki and Jessica recently sold his mansion on behalf of his widow, Edith. It’s obvious to Nikki that Jessica is being framed, but by whom? And why? And how on earth can Rex be dead a second time?

In search of answers, Nikki turns to the one person she can always count on. From her pink boudoir in her Beverly Hills mansion, the ever-glamorous Victoria suggests Nikki focus her sleuthing on Rex’s not-so-grieving widow. And there’s a veritable casting couch full of other candidates, including Edith’s boy-toy lover, Rex’s scheming lawyer (like there’s any other kind), and the diner waitress with whom Rex was having one of his numerous affairs. But with the killer readying for a repeat performance, Nikki will have to act fast—before her own screen fades to black. . .

Nicolette Harper was raised in the middle of the Hollywood hype, her mother a world famous movie star.  Now, Nikki Harper, all grown up, and not needing to work for a living, spends her time selling high end homes in the Hollywood and Beverly Hills Real Estate business.  She partners with her best friend Jessica Martin and between them they enjoy their work and the people they meet.

Nikki and Jessica are at a party hosted by Edith March, the widow of TV has – been Rex March, whose house they had sold for her.  Nikki is not a party person and as soon as she’s talked to her hostess, and seen her mother make her famous entrance she’s off and heading home to take care of her two dogs.  Little knowing that she is going to be drawn into a murder that will dredge up her feelings about her own father’s murder years ago and her distrust of the police in finding the killer.  The biggest question of course is Rex died in a plane crash, how can his newly dead body turn up on Jessica’s bed.

This is the first book in Cheryl Crane’s new real estate murder mysteries.  I wouldn’t quite call them cozies. I would call them well written, reader involved, and a book you won’t want to put down till you finish it.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher with their hope that I would read it and write a review.

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