Saturday, July 5

Review: Exile on Slain Street by P.J. Morse

Exile on Slain Street

Clancy Parker Mystery, Book 2
P.J. Morse

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: P.J. Morse Books
Date of Publication: August 26, 2013
Number of pages: 232
Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics

Available at the following retailers:

In the comic mystery Exile on Slain Street, undercover detective Clancy Parker must find the killer on the set of a reality TV dating show before she gets eliminated—permanently.

Clancy thought she’d been hired to protect the show’s star, grunge-rock guitar god Patrick Price, from a stalker, but she quickly realizes she’s dealing with a clever murderer whose arsenal includes booby-trapped stripper poles and sabotaged stretch Hummers. As members of the cast and production team are killed one by one, Clancy finds herself with few allies. She’s at the mercy of a nosy camera crew and, even worse, reality show contestants who will do anything for fame.

However, Clancy is the right woman for this challenge. She plays guitar for a band, and she fancies herself a rock ‘n’ roll detective, like Kinky Friedman, only a whole lot prettier. With her music background, Patrick Price can’t resist her, but the attentions of a horny rock star threaten to distract her from her original purpose, which is to save her client’s life.

Last May, I was involved with a book tour for a fabulous cozy mystery called Heavy Mental by P.J. Morse. The protagonist was a part time P.I. and part time lead guitarist of an indie rock band in the San Francisco Bay area.  It was different, unique and quite good, I gave it 4 stars.  When the author contacted me in September about reviewing the second book in the series, I was thrilled to accept and figured I would be able to get to it sometime the middle of October. Yeah, that didn't happen... A new job, training, life, etc got in the way and the book got pushed back. Then I took a sabbatical from the blog between Thanksgiving and January. I actually managed to get the book read during that time and liked it. However, by the time I started blogging again, I forgot to put it on the review schedule. (d'oh) After recently finding my notes and it dawning on me that I had not ever actually done the review, here it is late, but in no way least. :)

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Since I had enjoyed the first book in the Clancy Parker Mystery series, Heavy Mental so much, the author asked me if I would like to read the second book in exchange for an honest review.  I quickly accepted, now some *cough* 9 months ago. It is my own fault that this review was not done promptly, please don't blame the author's writing. It is all on me.

The story opens on Clancy finding a dead body floating in a pool on the set of a reality tv dating show, for the heart of rock star Patrick Price. Patrick has a stalker and Clancy has been hired to protect him and find the stalker. But how can you tell the difference between a stalker and reality show contestants specifically picked for their drama potential? The answer is you can't. Which is why she is undercover on the show as one of the contestants. The dead body she finds? The producer of the show and the man who hired her. Now that the stalker has graduated to murderer, Clancy will have to find the stalker/murderer, protect Patrick and keep from getting killer herself, all the while working hard to remind herself that Patrick's a client and NOT a real love interest. You know, just another day in the life of a rock'n roll PI.

When I looked back at this book, it all came flooding back. Exactly how much I enjoyed the story. As we are all aware, sometimes a sequel just doesn't measure up to the first. This was not the case here. This book took all the best parts from the first book and took them to the next level. Clancy's friends show up again, some playing the part of her family on the show, others to offer help and assistance where ever they could. They provide some much needed comic relief and keep the emotional tone of the book balanced. I was pleasantly surprised that the stalker/murderer wasn't who I thought it was along with some other interesting revelations. I love it when an author can keep me guessing right to the very end. Even with some time and distance this ranks as a 4 star read.

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