by Terrance Mc Arthur
This week we have a review & giveaway of The Quirky Quiz Show Caper. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, along with a link to purchase the book from Amazon.
It’s hard to imagine a singing teen-TV-sleuth idol of the 1970s with a name like Ernest Farmington, so they changed it to Sandy Fairfax when he starred in Buddy Brave, Boy Detective. He was a teeny-bopper magnet in the mold of Shaun Cassidy and Leif Garrett. It’s a decade or so later, and he’s staying sober, finally, to have access to his kids, woo Cinnamon his choreographer-girlfriend, and get back into music and acting in The Quirky Quiz Show Caper: A Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mystery by Sally Carpenter.
Carpenter’s fourth in the Sandy Fairfax series, somewhere between a murder cozy and a detective whodunit, finds the former celebrity trying to raise money for his father’s orchestra by working with his music-professor brother, Warren, who looks down on Ernest, while he is performing weekends as a theatre organist. When Sandy meets a dying music student in the theatre basement, whose personalized letter opener, given him by his musical mentor, is sticking out of the young man’s body, Warren has some ‘splaining to do.
Meanwhile, Sandy is on Raise the Stakes, a dismal game show where the has-been stars are hydraulically raised and lowered with the financial fortunes of the players. The game seems to be rigged, and the murder victim was a contestant on the show. Could the show producers have done it? But how would they have gotten the murder weapon from Warren’s office? And then, Sandy’s contestant-partner on the show turns out to be a shock to him.
Carpenter keeps a light touch through the proceedings. Things get silly, tenderly romantic, mysterious, and white-knuckle tense, but it’s always brisk and bouncy. She peppers the story with period references, name-dropping, and behind-the-scenes knowledge.
Sandy isn’t afraid to capitalize on his former fame or to try his hand at actual sleuthing, but it gets him into some hot water, including avoiding the innuendos of a predatory widow. What do you expect in a mystery novel with a non-professional investigator?
The Quirky Quiz Show Caper is a brisk romp around Southern California with silent movie shows, syndicated TV, classical music, murder, and a touch of polyester.
To enter to win a copy of The Quirky Quiz Show Caper, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “quiz,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 25, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.
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