And Justice For Some
Isobel Spice, #3
Joanne Sydney Lessner
Publisher: Dulcet Press
Date of Publication: September 16, 2014
Number of pages: 252
Cover Artist: Linda Pierro
Dinner theater can be a death sentence.Excerpt:
Actress Isobel Spice and her best friend Delphi Kramer are thrilled to finally have an opportunity to perform together, even if it’s just a cheesy interactive murder mystery at a judge’s lifetime achievement dinner. But when Isobel’s dramatic death scene is upstaged by a real murder and Delphi is left holding the still-smoking gun, Isobel drops the role of victim and assumes the role of detective. With the help of her precocious brother Percival and her reluctant temp agent James Cooke, Isobel peels back layers of deception to reveal a shocking abuse of power—and no shortage of suspects eager to deliver justice to a man who denied it to so many.
Practically before the last word was out of Delphi’s mouth, the crack of the gunshot ricocheted off the walls. Isobel smacked her hand to her chest and felt the blood packet burst against her blouse. Someone shrieked behind her as she staggered forward onto the dance floor. The Brioschi burbled up from her throat, foaming out the corners of her mouth and down her face. She spun around, arms flailing, eyes closed. More shrieks erupted around her.
Yup, she thought with satisfaction, definitely memorable.
She finally collapsed on the floor, limbs splayed, and after a few full-body spasms, settled into a position she could hold until Peter lifted her into the fireman’s carry.
She strained to hear Andrew’s line, “You just shot my wife,” but she was distracted by the sound of a glass shattering somewhere to her left. Somebody kicked her arm, but she held still, determined to be a convincing corpse. A pungent tang of gunpowder tickled her nose. Funny, she hadn’t noticed that when they were practicing. And…was that someone crying?
Suddenly, she felt Peter’s stubble scrape her cheek as he hissed in her ear, “Get up. Get up!”
He tried to yank her into a sitting position, but the sharp movement made her choke on the still-fizzing Brioschi. She knelt on all fours, hacking and heaving until her eyes finally stopped tearing.
“You see?” she heaved. “That’s why I wanted to practice…”
Her words died in her throat as she got to her feet. Two Hostelry security guards gripped Delphi’s shoulders, pinning her arms behind her back. Delphi’s mouth was frozen open in horror. Slowly, Isobel turned and looked behind her.
Last year I got the opportunity to review The Temporary Detective & Bad Publicity in the Isobel Spice Series. I really enjoyed the books and the characters, so I was thrilled to get a chance to read this latest installment. This is a unique series for me, in that we have the story told from both the main character Isobel Spice, but also secondarily from James Cooke, her former recruiter at the temp agency where she works. So far there hasn't been any serious romantic inclinations between the two characters, though there has been plenty of sizzle and the chemistry is strong.
After the events in book 2, several months have passed. James has left the agency and returned to Law School, while Isobel is working as an assistant to an attorney and continuing her acting career. Isobel and her best friend and roommate, Delphi are currently working together for a small murder mystery troupe. But truth becomes stranger than fiction, when an actual murder takes place during the show. Initially Isobel gets involved to help clear Delphi, but it's not long before her sense of justice won't let her keep looking for the killer.
Isobel's brother Percival is back, taking a much larger part now that he is studying at Columbia. The two siblings couldn't appear to be more opposite, but with his logic and her intuition, they quickly uncover multiple motives for the murder. And even though James is no longer her boss, he once again gets sucked into Isobel's investigation.
While this book had a great plot and was able to keep the twists and turns both interesting and semi-realistic, I wished for further advancement between James and Isobel. The combustion level is still climbing between these two characters, and while they are each in denial, it is clear from friends and family, that others can see their potential. I guess what it comes down to is that I have no patience for their slow burn. Overall great story and a solid 3 star read.
Joanne will be awarding a $30 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter between this tour and the Book Blast Tour, here.
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Joanne Sydney Lessner is the author of BloodWrites Award-Winner The Temporary Detective (Dulcet Press, 2012), which introduces Isobel Spice, aspiring actress and resourceful office temp turned amateur sleuth. Isobel’s adventures continue in the novels Bad Publicity (Dulcet Press, 2013) and And Justice for Some (Dulcet Press, 2014). The Ghosts’ High Noon (Dulcet Press, 2014), an Isobel Spice short story, is available on http://joannesydneylessner.com as a free download. Inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine, Joanne’s debut novel Pandora’s Bottle (Flint Mine Press, 2010) was named one of the top five books of 2010 by Paperback Dolls. Her play, Critical Mass, winner of the 2009 Heiress Productions Playwriting Competition, received its New York premiere at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row in October 2010. She has written the book and lyrics to several musicals with her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, including the cult hit Fermat’s Last Tango, which received its Off-Broadway premiere at the York Theatre Company in November 2000, and Einstein’s Dreams, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. They are currently developing a musical based on Wilkie Collins’s The Haunted Hotel for the Signature Theatre Company in Arlington, Virginia. Joanne is also a regular contributing writer to Opera News
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