By Staci McLaughlin
Copyright July 2012
Publisher Kensington Mystery
As Dana readjusts to life back home with her recently widowed mother, her latest career move isn’t exactly a piece of cake. In fact, it’s all tofu fish sticks, stuffed squash blossoms, and enough wheat grass shots to scream bloody murder – especially when Dana discovers the body of Maxwell Mendelsohn, Hollywood producer and opening weekend guest, deader than a yoga corpse pose. While Dana pens the Spa’s blog and balances the attentions of the local police and reporter Jason Forrester, her escalating job duties now include finding clues, motives and suspects. One thing’s for certain, she better act fast before all this healthy living kills her.
Dana feels that she let her mother down, by running back to her job and life in San Jose. She wasn’t able to deal with her father’s death and at the time didn’t know how to help her mother deal with her grief. After a long stint of unemployment when the startup company she was working for had to close due to being underfunded. With her finances almost gone, Dana moves home to help her mom, who is still grieving over her husband’s death. Her mom is friends with Esther who is opening up a Spa on the grounds of her former farm.
Since she had already agreed to take the job of PR person for the Spa she sadly turned down the great job offer she received three days before she was due to start working for Esther. The staff of the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa is a diverse group. You have George, Esther’s right hand mad, and front person. There is Zennia the chef. She specializes in “wholesome” organic product meals. Heather the room maid who has a habit of disappearing for smoke breaks, and lastly Christian, who runs the Yoga and Pilotes. These are the people Dana will have to interact with and try to be friends with.
Maxwell Mendelsohn is a movie producer of the slash and kill genre. Why he is at the Spa is anybody’s guess…. So when after a few days he turns up murdered Dana (who just wasn’t thrilled with the detective’s attitude) starts looking into things on her own.
I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in what looks to be an amazing series. Amazing because of the cast of characters and the setting. I look forward to Ms. McLaughlin’s continued success and more books to come.
FTC Full Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher, who only asked for a fair and impartial review.