Sunday, March 27, 2011

Formula for Murder by Diana Orgain

book cover

Formula for Murder
by Diana Orgain

ISBN-13: 9780425239889
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: March 1, 2011

Author Website
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Source: Review copy offered by author and sent from publisher.

Back Cover Description:
First-time mom Kate Connolly may have found the perfect work-from-home mommy job: private investigator. After all, the hours are flexible, she can bring the baby along on stakeouts, and if you're going to be up all night anyway, you might as well solve some crimes...

Kate and little Laurie are on their way to take baby's-first-holiday photos when they become the victims of a hit-and-run. Luckily, they escape unharmed, and a witness identifies the car's French diplomatic license plates. When Kate and her hubby, Jim, try to get some answers at the consulate, they get le cold shoulder--but not before noticing a pair of television reporters exiting the building.

A few days later, the dead body of one of the reporters is found in Golden Gate Park. Kate wonders if there's a connection to the consulate, and is hired by the dead reporters husband to get some answers. And she'll have to uncover a plot that's dirtier--and far deadlier--than any diaper...

Formula for Murder is a humorous "who-done-it" mystery. It's the third novel in the series, but you don't need to have read the first or second book to understand this one. Also, reading the books out of order won't spoil the previous mysteries.

The novel was fast-paced and a fun read. The suspense came from sorting out the clues of who-done-it and why, the ever-increasing body count, and the need for Kate to get all her Christmas things done before Christmas while also solving the mystery.

The details about Kate's first-time mommy moments and her learning to be a private investigator brought the story alive in my imagination. Kate, her family, and her friends were engaging and interesting. The characters were realistic, through most didn't come across as particularly deep (which is fine for a humorous novel).

There was a very minor amount of bad language. There were no sex scenes, though people having sex was sometimes referred to or implied. Overall, I'd recommend this well-written, enjoyable novel.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
To Do:
1. Make holiday photo appointment for Laurie.
2. Send out Christmas cards. Get them printed first--then send out Christmas cards.
3. Complete Start Christmas shopping.
4. Find a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament.
5. Get Christmas tree.
6. Finish background checks Galigani gave me.
7. Get a new PI client. How do I do this?

I checked Laurie in the rearview mirror; she was sound asleep. As usual, the motion of the car had lulled her into slumber.

She looked adorable, wearing a tiny red satin dress with matching red booties. We were on our way to get her first holiday photos taken. I couldn't believe three months had evaporated; it seemed like she was born just yesterday. My best friend Paula had warned me the time would fly by, but this was ridiculous. How had I put off taking Laurie's holiday photos? Now it was the first week in December and I was hustling to get them taken, printed, and sent out as Christmas cards.

It's all right. From now on efficiency will be my middle name.

I cruised down the hill to the stoplight and stepped on the brake. Out of habit, I glanced in the rearview mirror again and saw a silver SUV barreling down the hill.

Was the car out of control? It continued to speed and there was no telltale sign of the nose dipping as it would if the driver were braking.

They were getting closer! Almost on top of us.

I quickly looked for a way to avoid impact.

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