Thursday, July 6, 2017

Book Review: Murder at the Male Revue by Elizabeth Perona (Bucket Club Mysteries #3)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Plenty of fun in this mystery
Cons: Ending a bit rushed
The Bottom Line:
Fundraiser gone wrong
Brings us more murder, mayhem
For fun third volume

Stripping Down Distractions Until a Killer is Revealed

While the majority of books I read (or cozies in general) feature a young woman, I’m always on the lookout for a fun series that features a different kind of protagonist.  One such series is the Murder on the Bucket List series by father/daughter writing team known as Elizabeth Perona.  Murder at the Male Revue is the third book in this fun series.

The books feature a group of women of a certain age who, at the age of sixty, each created a bucket list of 60 items.  They’ve only recently started trying to accomplish those items, over ten years later, but it seems that crossing items off their list also involves murder.

This book finds the group working a fund raiser for the local community center and pool.  Mary Ruth is catering the event, which is an auction of members of the local male revue.  It just so happens that going to a strip club is one of the items on Joy’s list, so the event is serving a dual purpose.  However, the biggest surprise of the night happens when the live auction has hardly started, and it sets off pure chaos.  Before things get back under control, the president of the town council winds up dead.

Camille was Charlotte’s neighbor, and Francine’s son was good friends with Camille’s nephew Eric, the leader of the male revue troop.  Not that Charlotte needs these as encouragement to jump in and solve a murder, dragging Francine and the others with her.  What secrets was Camille hiding?  Which of them got her killed?

Like the other books in this series, this is a fun book with plenty of twists and turns.  Even as these ladies unearthed clues, motives, and suspects, I was left wondering exactly what had happened.  I did feel the ending was a bit abrupt, but that’s my only complaint about the book.

Meanwhile, these characters are fun.  Francine is our third person view point character, and she is a great window into the mystery.  Charlotte is her main side kick, although Joy and Mary Ruth get their scenes.  Fans of the series will notice that I haven’t mentioned Alice yet.  She is actually out of town for the action of this book, but that allows us to get to know the other four ladies better.  I can’t leave out the suspects, who are all equally suspicious at some point in the book.

Plus, there’s the humor.  These ladies find themselves in some crazy slapstick situations over the course of the book in addition to some fun dialogue between the friends.  Trust me, you’ll be smiling and laughing as you attempt to solve the case.

While this book does mention the events of the first book in the series, by necessity, it spoils a big portion of the plot of the second book.  The authors attempt to do their best to avoid it, but it’s pretty much impossible.  The solution?  Go back and start the series with book one.

And that’s no hardship at all.  These ladies are sure to keep you entertained.  You’ll be reading Murder at the Male Revue before you know it.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

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