THE READAHOLICS AND THE GOTHIC GALA
The final entry in the Book Club mystery trilogy is spirited and moves quickly toward its unanticipated conclusion. Book club members’ talents rise to the occasion in this often humorous novel where suspects abound. How Amy-Faye manages to conduct her event-planning business during all of the frantic activity surrounding the crime remains a mystery. She also finds time for her burgeoning romance that enlivens the story.
Dubbed the Celebration of Gothic Novels, it’s a lavish affair for the small town of Heaven, Colo. With help from book store owner Gemma, Amy-Faye Johnson assembles the event — there’s a high-profile author panel and a masquerade in the evening to top off the activities. After a murder occurs in their midst and the victim is identified, book club members follow clues in an attempt to solve the mystery. The costume party was the perfect cover for the crime. Although frowned upon by Amy-Faye’s boyfriend, Detective Hart, he reluctantly concedes to the group’s sleuthing abilities as they’ve solved crimes in the past. No one, including the authors, seems to know anything about the victim until his girlfriend appears from nowhere with their first important lead. (NAL, Aug., 304 pp., $7.99)