by Cynthia Chow
& Duffy Brown
This week we have a review of the cycling mystery by Duffy Brown, Tandem Demise. We also have a fun guest post by Duffy about a love of books. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Tandem Demise, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Tandem Demise: A Cycle Path Mystery by Duffy Brown
Review by Cynthia Chow
Although Evie Bloomfield has lived on Mackinac Island for two years, she’s still considered a come-here fudgie and not a born-here native. That doesn’t mean that Evie hasn’t already developed a reputation as a dead body finder, not to mention being a self-admitted busybody. So when she and her friend Fiona discover a corpse clutching a champagne bottle on the freight dock, no one expects Evie to remain on the sidelines. Of course, Evie’s almost-something boyfriend Police Chief Nate Sutter would prefer that she not once against risk her life sneaking into homes, snooping through police files, and interrogate suspects and witnesses.
Officially, the tourist-reliant island that prohibits motorized vehicles and has spotty cellphone coverage does what it can to gloss over the homicide while it hosts money-making weddings and celebrations. Wedding planner Bladen Powers creates more problems than he solves, though, as his dalliances with maids, bridesmaids, and one almost-a-bride has him targeted for violence and at least one lawsuit. The new part-owner of customized bicycle store Rudy’s Rides may have only recently learned how to (almost) ride a bike, but Evie’s an old hand at picking locks with a paperclips and even breaking into jail. No one can deny that Evie’s fragile heart is in the right place, which is why she will do anything to help the ones she loves and prove to the police that she is right.
This is an undeniably fun and exuberant novel that makes Evie and Fiona the Lucy and Ethel of Mackinac Island murder investigations. Romance looms on the horizon for both women, with the results being predictably unpredictable. Evie and Nate are more than a little competitive, but the secretive Nate is both frustrated with her nosiness and concerned for her safety. Despite Evie’s occasional recklessness at following the law and risking a little imprisonment when following a clue, she retains a very vulnerable core that makes her relatable and likable.
For all of the chaos surrounding enraged bridezillas and spurned grooms, a refreshing and satisfyingly realistic conclusion proves that official law enforcement was not as clueless as the amateurs believe. This is a fun and fast read sure to delight fans of spunky heroines who use humor and banter to hide their true fears. The quirky characters of Mackinac Island truly come alive in this third of the series, and readers will wish they could catch the next ferry to the Michigan island of horse-drawn buggies and festivals.
By Duffy Brown
Reading is a love affair. Okay, it’s a lot of other things too like being able to follow the layout of putting toys together, getting the news, ordering at a restaurant, knowing where to catch your flight, but the love part of reading comes with a book. You read a book for your own personal enjoyment. It’s a relationship. It’s all about you and the book and nothing else matter. Have you ever finished a book and felt sad it was over?
That’s what happens when you love a book so much that it draws you deep inside. You’re no longer sitting in your chair eating junk food. You’re suddenly in Africa, fighting a war, in the mountains, at the seaside, or the bakery with friends.
What was the first time you felt this way? Can you remember the book where you were one with the characters and doing what they were doing? Did you feel cold in the snow, hot in the south in August? Did you get hungry reading the dinner party scene or suddenly crave a cup of tea because the characters where having a tea party?
My love affair with books started with Nancy Drew. I grew up in the Mad Men era when the world belonged to guys, and girls didn’t have sports teams, and only went to college to be nurses or teachers. Law firms didn’t hire women, women weren’t stock brokers or engineers or doctors. They were the nurses.
When I read Nancy Drew, my guy world blew apart. Nancy did everything. She drove a sports car, went to college, was smart and clever and humble, and she was the one who got the job done. She pulled out her flashlight and went into old houses, dark caves, scary woods no matter what the danger. I loved that she sleuthed not just for mystery sake but to help others in trouble and didn’t go whining to some guy to save me.
After reading Nancy Drew, I was braver and wanted adventure, and it carried though my whole life. I asked more questions, went to college when my parents didn’t want me to, and I actually did work in the stock market when it was pretty much a guy thing.
Nancy Drew was not only a terrific read for an eight-year-old, but she gave me a path for life. So what about you? What was the very first book that drew you in, where you were part of the setting, the danger, the romance? Where you actually became one of the characters?
When I read Murder on the Orient Express, I truly felt as if I were on the train. When I read Gone With the Wind, I thought “Damn those Yankees,” and I live in Ohio and am indeed a Yankee. I could feel the heat when Atlanta burned and felt hungry when Scarlett felt hungry.
The first time I read A Christmas Carol I think I actually saw the ghosts. When I read Jurassic Park, I was so afraid I had to remind myself to breathe, and no, there were no dinosaurs outside in the back yard.
Are there books that have affected you this way, and what was the very first one? Is there a book like Nancy Drew that changed your life like Nancy did mine? I hope so. This is the romance of books, when they become part of us, part of who we are and we love it.
To enter to win an ebook copy of Tandem Demise, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “tandem,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 19, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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