Friday, June 09, 2006

THE DEATH OF MILLY MAHONEY by Susanne Severeid (iUniverse)

My backlog of submissions is getting a bit overwhelming. And this book has been in my queue for months. It wasn't until I perused my email a bit that I realized THE DEATH OF MILLY MAHONEY had been recommended to me by no less than four different people.

So I read it. And I loved it.

Susanne Severeid has churned out a tasty little mystery, with all the Grafton-esque hooks that keep the pages turning. MILLY tells the story of Trix Donovan, former model and current tabloid journalist, and how her life is turned upside-down when a long lost friend leaves an unusual--and clipped--message on her answering machine. When her friend turns up dead (Milly, in case you haven't guessed by now), Trix throws her journalistic instincts into overdrive and follows the only path to getting to the bottom of the case--which takes her around some surprising curves, especially when she finds herself inexorably tied to what happened. (Geez, it's hard to review mysteries; I can't keep the spoilers from coming to my fingertips.)

The novel dumps you into the deep end of Southern California's pool of sleaze (Severeid was once an actress herself, for all you CHiPs fans) and doesn't toss you a life preserver. While the book is clever and funny, it's fairly gritty, too, and keeps the punches--and surprises--coming, right from the first few pages.

For more background info on the book, check out this interview with Susanne.

Grab a copy for $16.95 from Amazon. It's a snappy, fun beach read. Just load on the sunblock; once you start reading you'll lose track of time.