by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Death in Advertising. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Ever since she designed a lemonade stand slogan as a ten-year-old, Tobi Tobias’s dream has been to work in advertising. The past six months since finally opening the Tobias Ad Agency have been bleak though, and if Tobi doesn’t land a client soon, she’s going to be out of business. It seems within her grasp when Tobi creates the perfect marketing campaign for the Zander Closet Company, owned by the almost-as-perfect Andrew Zander and his overly charming brother Gary. The popularity of Tobi’s concept—When we’re done, even your skeletons will have a place— places her on the local news, but it also dunks her into hot water when the phrase becomes horrifically true. For during a brochure photo-shoot at the luxurious home of Preston and Mitzi Holbrook, the very dead body of the Car King himself falls out of the newly renovated Zander closet.
Discovering that there is such a thing as bad publicity, Tobi is desperate to clear herself and solve the mystery before her reputation is further tarnished. Mitzi was not the first Mrs. Holbrook, and rumors swirled amongst the household staff that the new glitzy wife was having an affair. For once Toby is grateful that she has been working a second job at the ‘To Know Them is to Love Them’ pet store, as it allows her some insight into problematic behavior of the late Preston’s African grey parrot, Baboo. Competing for her attention is the discovery that Tobi will be competing against her former bosses for clients, so she’s lucky to also have the support of the grandfather who has been providing her with wisdom since her childhood.
This start of a new series brings in as much laughter as it does background and insight into the world of advertising. Tobi herself is a delight, downing Cocoa Puffs and chocolate when the stress becomes a little too much for her. The pet store itself plays a surprising role, leading not just to a critical clue but introducing its match-making owner and her talented photographer son. Having had a history of bad judgment with men, Tobi distrusts the attraction that is pulling her towards one of the Zander brothers. It is compassion and not romance that motivates Tobi to investigate; she was voted Most Caring in high school, after all.
The extremely light tone that starts the novel continues throughout, speeding towards a refreshingly realistic conclusion. Tobi may have an unhealthy addition to sugary cereal, but her investigations never stray out of the realm of believability. The author of many mysteries and romances under the names Laura Bradford and Elizabeth Lynn Casey, she debuts yet another delightful novel featuring a relatable and vulnerable heroine, engaging side characters, and a charming and unique setting.
To enter to win a copy of Death in Advertising, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “advertising,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 15, 2017. US residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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