Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: Revenge for Old Time's Sake by Kris Neri (Tracy Eaton #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Good mystery filled with lots of off the wall fun
Cons: A couple of times it almost got too wacky
The Bottom Line:
Tracy's finally back!
All the craziness you'd want
Plus good mystery

You Never Know When the Past Will Come Back to Get Revenge

I got hooked on the Tracy Eaton mystery series several years ago.  Tracy is a mystery author who is the daughter of movie stars married to a straight laced attorney.  This comedic series offers lots of wacky antics along with mysteries that really do all hold together.  The series took a detour through a couple of publishers between the second and third books, but Revenge for Old Times' Sake has finally come out.  And I enjoyed every minute of it.

Tracy still considers her husband Drew to be a by the rules kind of person.  So she is rather shocked when he takes a swing at his boss, Ian, and bloodies his nose.  Unfortunately, that punch becomes fodder for the police the next day when Ian is found floating face down in the Eaton's pool.

Tracy is quick to try to clear her husband.  Assisting (or hindering as the case may be) are her mother, movie star Martha Collins, and Drew's mother, the conservative and orderly Charlotte.  The two mothers are constantly at each other's throats, leaving Tracy to play referee.  Further complicating matters are suspects and friends who seem to have their own motives for getting involved.  Can Tracy's normal off-beat view of the world help clear Drew, or will she need something extra outrageous?

Tracy tries hard not to live in reality, and this book reflects that.  At times, I did get a little frustrated with the characters because no sane person would do what they did.  Then again, they don't pretend to live in the same way as the rest of the population, so I can't hold them to those standards, right?  Frankly, I find the craziness one of the charms of the series.  The humor that results is well worth it.

While the actions may be crazy, the plot is actually pretty well constructed.  Motives, clues, and red herrings are scattered liberally throughout the book.  When things come together at the end, it feels logical.  This is a plot that would work just as well in any other series I read, it's just much more fun here.

The cast of characters covers a wide range, from the super wacky Martha to the ultra serious Charlotte.  They come across as real people here.  Okay, maybe I'm being generous with the real people tag, but they are certainly real enough for this book and the strange universe it creates.

The characters also add to the humor.  Not only do they create some of the crazy situations, but they also jab at each other with plenty of one liners.  The wit continues in Tracy's first person narration.  Some of her comments on the action are absolutely priceless.

This series is a mystery with a screwball comedy bent.  If you want anything remotely serious or realistic, don't consider it.  But if you want some crazy fun with a solid mystery base, Revenge for Old Times' Sake is the book for you.

There's even more fun to be had with the rest of the Tracy Eaton Mysteries in order.

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