Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book Review: A Perfect Manhattan Murder by Tracy Kiely (Nic and Nigel Mysteries #3)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Comedy and a good mystery
Cons: Characters a little thin
The Bottom Line:
Broadway critic killed
Means more laughs and clues for us
You won’t stop smiling




Poisonous Reviewer Gets Poisoned

I never would have guessed how much I’d come to love the Nic and Nigel Mysteries when I started them this year.  They are a complete delight with good mysteries and plenty of laughs.  I’m sadly all caught up now that I’ve read the third, A Perfect Manhattan Murder.

This book finds retired police detective Nicole, Nic to her friends, and her husband Nigel Martini back in Manhattan for the premier of a friend’s play on Broadway.  This means that they can reconnect with Patty, the playwright, as well as Harper, two of Nic’s best friends.  Unfortunately, Harper’s husband Dan is also involved in the reunion.  He’s a well respect Broadway critic who is extremely unpleasant in real life and has a reputation for being nasty in his reviews.  The night of the play’s premier is enjoyable, except any time that Dan is in the vicinity.

The morning after the play opens, Harper finds Dan dead in his work apartment.  The more the police investigate, the more it looks like Harper did it.  Nic believes that her friend is innocent, but can she prove it?

We get a chance to see Dan in action before his demise, and this time is put to great use introducing the suspects.  By the time he dies, we know who Nic needs to talk to, and she and Nigel spend the rest of the book trying to get to the truth.  The reveal at the end was a surprise to me, yet all the clues were there.  I love it when that happens.

These books are a loving homage to The Thin Man series, and at times I feel the characters are a bit thin.  Then again, they were in the movies as well.  Still, they completely work for the world of this book, and I didn’t mind as I was reading.

Of course, one reason I didn’t mind was that I was so busy laughing.  Once again, this book perfectly captures the banter of the movies.  Nigel, especially, is always ready with a quip that made me laugh.  Then there are the reactions to Skippy, their Bullmastiff.  This is one of the wittiest series I’ve read, period.

Some of the conversations between Nic and Nigel definitely head into sexually suggestive territory, but we still only get vague hints at their sex life.  Considering they are a very happily married couple, I don’t mind in the slightest.  There are a handful of four letter words scattered around the book as well.  I don’t feel the book needed them, but they are hardly enough to put me off this book.

Like in The Thin Man movies, Nigel and Nic both love their alcohol.  We get some theater themed cocktail recipes at the end of the book as a result.

As I said before, I’m sad I’m caught up on this series.  Next time you are in the mood for a light read, you’ll find that A Perfect Manhattan Murder is the perfect book to meet your needs.

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