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Lethal Lifestyles–so many characters!

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Lethal Lifestyles

by LynDee Walker

lethal-lifestylesI read and really enjoyed Cover Shot, the fifth cozy in the Headlines in High Heels Mystery Series.  Therefore, I looked forward to reading Lethal Lifestyles, the sixth book in the series by LynDee Walker, which is scheduled to be published on September 27, 2016.

I have one problem with Walker’s latest book, and it is a difficulty that sneaks up on many cozy mystery writers. There are so many minor characters, either possible suspects or helpful sidekicks to the sleuth, that few are well-developed enough to be memorable.  For once, I was very glad to be reading an e-book so I could search quickly for the introduction of the various characters and thus identify their roles.  At first I thought the fault was mine.  Late in the book, however, a character named Chad contributes an important clue via a text message to his wife.  In searching the name, I confirmed that Nichelle, our crime reporter in high heels, had in fact contacted him earlier in the book, but the reader is given no information about his relationship to Nichelle’s good friend, Jenn.  This was probably the most egregious example.

While this overabundance of characters is a problem in Lethal Lifestyles, it is also indicative of what makes this book a really good cozy mystery–an intricate plot with lots of puzzle pieces to keep the reader interested.  The story centers around the wedding of two of Nichelle’s co-reporters.  Nichelle, as maid of honor, is acting as a wedding planner for the couple and wants the wedding to be perfect.  Unfortunately, a man is found dead at the site of the rehearsal dinner, and the groom is implicated.  Nichelle has one week to clear the groom’s name by finding the murderer.  Clues that are reasonable go off in all directions.  The author brings it all together with a very surprising ending.

I do recommend Lethal Lifestyles if you enjoy cozies.  In addition to great mystery elements, you will find humor and romance.  The only mystery remaining to me is how Nichelle manages to do all that sleuthing in an assortment of stilettos and one good pair of wedges.  It makes my feet hurt just to think about it.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Henery Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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