I first found out about this book, which was launched less than a month ago, when the author contacted me to say she was interested in taking part in the next Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. She kindly sent me a copy of her book to give me an idea of what she wrote, and I couldn’t resist reading it straight away, partly because the title put me in mind of the brilliant TV comedy series “Drop the Dead Donkey” and partly because of the gorgeous cover which has been adorning my coffee table very prettily over the last few days!
TV Newsroom Setting
Like the famous “Donkey” series, Jackie Kabler’s debut novel revolves around a television news room, and the characters are both realistic yet at the same time larger than life, as are the news stories that they’re sent to cover.
Kate Adie, she ain’t – no serious war stories for our heroine Cora Baxter, most of the news she and her crew cover are the kind that make them guffaw as she tries not to corpse on camera. But when her boss is mysteriously murdered and her ex-boyfriend mysteriously disappeared, her relatively pampered life of designer clothes and champagne in fancy London bars is turned upside down, even when she hooks up with a gorgeous new TV star boyfriend.
As Much Romantic Comedy as Mystery
Despite the strapline “A Cora Baxter Mystery”, Cora does not exactly play detective, but finds herself at the heart of the action. I’d class it more as a comic chick-lit with mysterious overtones than a thriller, though it did keep me turning the pages into the night, keen to know whodunnit and what would be the final result for Cora. I didn’t guess in advance who the murderer was, though the romantic outcome seemed inevitable.
An interesting little feature used throughout the book was the odd paragraph interjected about what was going on in the murderer’s head at different points in the story, always carefully phrased so you didn’t know whether the murderer is male or female.
Assuming and hoping there’ll be a sequel to follow Cora’s further adventures, romantic, career or otherwise!
Ideal for anyone who likes cosy mysteries and romantic comedies featuring celebrities, designer labels, food (especially cake), and alcohol, all of which frequently appear in this book, and anyone who is interested in finding out what it’s like behind the scenes of a 21st century TV news programme.
I’m looking forward to meeting the author soon and to her joining us at the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival next April. And I’m hoping that by the following festival, I’ll also be able to share my own debut cosy mystery novel, Best Murder in Show, my current work-in-progress!
For more about Jackie Kabler and her work, visit her website: www.jackiekabler.com