Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: Dem Bones' Revenge by Kris Neri (Tracy Eaton #2)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: A fun mystery with great characters and plenty of twists
Cons: Only if you want a serious book
The Bottom Line:
Hollywood murder
Great humor, plenty of laughs
Book is spades of fun

Don't Leave Skeletons in Your Closet Because Dem Bones Will Always be out for Revenge

I don't do nearly enough rereading.  Granted, the list of books I haven't read I want to read keeps mushrooming.  But I recently took the time to reread Dem Bones' Revenge, the second Tracy Eaton mystery.  It's still a wild romp through Hollywood, and I still loved every minute of it.

Tracy has hardly gotten out of bed and already her Monday is falling apart.  Her editor has just called to inform her of a long list of changes that must be made to her latest book in two days or they will drop her series.  The contractor they've hired to expand the closets in their condo showed up two days early to begin the renovations.  And her husband Drew is in a pre-court panic since the biggest trial of his legal career starts that day.

In the middle of all this chaos, Tracy's mother, movie star Martha Collins calls with the news that she's been found over the body of Vince Sperry, a former producer.  The police seem to think that Martha had reason to want the man dead, and Martha is sneaking off and disappearing, not exactly the behavior of an innocent woman.  Despite promises to the contrary, Tracy puts on her detective hat to try to clear her mother.  But is Martha really innocent?

The last time I read this book was in 2003, so parts of it were definitely hazy.  But as I read, pieces came back to me.  The result was I remembered the big picture before I got there.  Had I not remembered it, I'm sure I would have been as lost as I was the first time around.  This is an expertly plotted romp that is hard to figure out even with all the clues given to you.  It has several great twists and a climax that is logical and exciting.

The characters are what truly make this book.  Tracy is actually the daughter of two Hollywood celebrities, so she definitely has a different view of the world.  Husband Drew grounds things in enough reality to make me buy the story, but he doesn't kill any of the fun.  Martha is a hoot, and I absolutely love Drew's Uncle Philly, a con man who is living with Tracy and Drew.  All of these characters are well developed and believable in the context of the book.  The other characters that wander the pages feel real, although we never see any of them for a very long time.

I've already called this book a romp, and that is exactly what it is.  With the slightly off kilter characters and Hollywood setting, this is a comic mystery at its best.  Tracy narrates with a sarcastic sense of humor that made me laugh more than once.  And, while I get Tracy's frustration at some of the things the other characters do, I found them equally funny.  When I wasn't laughing, I was grinning.  It's just that kind of book.

Don't even think about reading this book if you want something serious or gritty.  But if you need a good mystery with plenty of fun, Dem Bones' Revenge is the book for you.

Looking for more fun?  Here are the Tracy Eaton Mysteries in order.

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