Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Review: The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala by Laura DiSilverio (Book Club Mysteries #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Wonderful character in strong mystery
Cons: Cons have been banished to an old, mysterious, remote castle
The Bottom Line:
Reading gothic book
Modern murder at gala
Fantastic cozy

Gothic Authors and Murder

I fell in love with the Readaholics the first time I met them.  This group of women are just so much fun!  They are back in The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala, and it’s another winner.

If you haven’t met the group, the Readaholics are a book club that focuses on mysteries.  While they read a wide variety, we seem to join them for classic mysteries which have a bearing on the mysteries that they find themselves involved in.  Amy-Faye Johnson is our main characters, and she’s an even planner in their town of Heaven, Colorado.

As this book opens, Amy-Faye is getting ready for a Celebration of Gothic Novels that the local book store is hosting in honor of the 100th birthday of author Mary Stewart, one of the giants in the field.  Three authors have come in to participate, and the day includes a talk and book signing, auction, and a costume ball that evening.  The Readaholics are getting into the spirit by reading Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca.

The day is mostly successful with only a couple of hitches along the way, but nothing that Amy-Faye can’t handle.  All that changes as the dance is drawing to a close.  That’s when a dead body is discovered.  The victim is a stranger, but someone that Amy-Faye had noticed hanging around the events all day.  Since the murder weapon was part of one of the Readaholic’s costumes, the group springs into action to found out what happened.  But who was the victim?  And who would have motive to kill this stranger?

What I love about this series is how each of the Readaholics get involved in the mystery.  Amy-Faye might be our main character, but all five of the women are given their moment to shine.  That’s the case here again as they investigate the latest case.  All of the characters are strong, and it’s easy to keep them all straight.  Meanwhile, we see some growth in the women.  I did miss Amy Faye’s family, who weren’t around as much as in the past, but that’s a minor complaint.  Any more of them would have just slowed the book down anyway.

And there really wasn’t much to slow down the story.  We get a few mysterious events before the body shows up, and then it’s clues and surprises until we reach the logical yet surprising end.  The suspects are all strong characters with valid motives which makes the mystery more fun.

Unlike the first two in the series, I had not read Rebecca before picking up this book.  I tried; it just didn’t happen.  Over the course of this book, there are some discussions of that classic novel.  It’s enough that anything I needed to know because it provided a clue to this story was explained to me.  Unfortunately, that does mean some events of the classic are spoiled.  I’m not surprised, and at this point, that’s certainly on me.  Just be aware of that if you care before picking up this book.

But you’ll definitely want to pick up this book.  The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala is another fantastic read with characters you can’t help but love.  Heck, if this book club were real, I’d jump at a chance to join.

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Tuesday, August 16th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 8/16.  You will have until midnight on 8/21 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 8/22.


  1. I loved this one too! All the bookish talk made me happy and I do think the fact that I have read Rebecca (several times in fact) helped with my enjoyment but like you said it didn't help me with the mystery. I'm really excited to go one book back for the Poirot book!

  2. Books are mind candy..Would love to read this one. Writ on...

  3. I love the book Rebecca! And your description of the book makes me want to join the Readaholics, on escapadesof a literary nature and otherwise :)


  4. Thanks, Mark. I always enjoy your take on my books.

  5. Thanks for the chance. janngrogan@yahoo.com

  6. Another series that I need to get started on, love your review.

  7. Enjoyed your post & thoughts. Thanks for the chance to win this new book in a series that I have enjoyed. doward1952@yahoo.com

  8. So exciting, it sounds wonderful! My mom read a lot of those old style gothic books, I remember them vividly. Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. Oh, what a delightful story! Everything seems right up my 'gothic stairway.' kat8762@aol.com

  10. Sounds so good and would love to read a gothic book. thanks for the chance and the heads up. ptclayton2@aol.com

  11. I loved the book and movie Rebecca. However, I am new to this author and series. Thanks for your review and chance to win a copy of the book!


  12. This is a series I have been wanting to try but just haven't gotten to yet. stclairck@gmail.com

  13. I am a readaholic also so this book would suit me just fine.