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Posted December 7, 2010
entertaining journalist investigative mystery
Freelance reporter Tilda Harper writes articles on the famous and not so famous Hollywood personalities for the entrainment magazines. Don, the owner of a security company, works for the Pharos movie team who are filming outdoors on the Cape. He and Tilda know each other from when she was dating his son Nick. He invites her to interview the star of the movie John Laryea.
She is invited to stay at the hotel and watch the shoot, which she agrees to do as she can sell a lot of stories about the experience. Three days after she arrives she is on the side of the road when a speeding car hits two people the star and his assistant. Everyone but Tildy believes Pete Ellis the chauffeur who works for Don is guilty as his limo killed her assistant. When the police find Pete, he is passed out drunk and taken into custody. Tildy promises to snoop around to exonerate him with the truth at the same time she seeks Leviathan the author who wrote the comic book the movie is based on.
Watching the protagonist conduct two different inquiries is fascinating as each involves a person with a secret to hide. This entertaining journalist investigative mystery is filled with vivid descriptions leading to armchair readers believing they are on location. The movie support cast adds quirky humor to a serious whodunit as like her other blasts from the past (Curse of the Kissing Cousins and Who Killed the Pin-Up Queen, the latest Where Are They Now? Harper tale is a great read.
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A fun, quick read, especially for mystery and comic book lovers!
I had the pleasure of reading Toni L.P. Kelner’s Blast from the Past this week. A fun, quick read, especially for mystery and comic book lovers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The story’s main character is Tilda Harper, a freelance reporter who is hired to find Leviathan, creator of a comic book series while the film adaptation is in progress on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod. Tilda witnesses a deadly car accident where a limousine assigned to Pete Ellis drives directly into the film’s movie star, John Laryea and his assistant, Foster. Foster dies instantly and Tilda takes it upon herself to clear Ellis’s name.
Kelner’s wit and attention to detail make for an enjoyable read, enabling the reader to learn along the way as she explains basic principles of psychology, preservation of art and use of the internet to investigate both the whereabouts of Leviathan and in her opinion, the innocence of Ellis.
The reader is kept guessing throughout the story as Kelner guides them to a satisfying conclusion. Well done!
Posted April 6, 2011
This mystery is a blast!
"Blast from the Past" is the third book in the "Where Are They Now?" mystery series. In each of the books, freelance writer Tilda Harper locates and interviews former celebrities for various magazines.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
"Blast from the Past" begins when Tilda gets the chance to interview John Laryea, the former star of a kids' musical program called "The Blastoffs". This assignment is a little different for Tilda since the former television star isn't retired from show business, but instead is a popular movie star. Tilda is invited to Cape Cod to the set of Laryea's current movie to interview him and others associated with the movie. Tilda is also hired by the movie's director to find the writer of the comic book on which the movie is based.
While on location, Tilda witnesses a hit and run involving John Laryea's abrasive assistant and a car owned by her ex-boyfriend Nick's limousine company. One of Nick's drivers, Pete Ellis, is the prime suspect. Pete is keeping secrets, but is one of them murder? Tilda decides to use her journalist's instincts to find out who was driving the limo that killed John's assistant. Soon Tilda is juggling interviews and the search for the unknown comic book writer with keeping an apparently innocent man from being arrested for murder. She also has to fight her attraction to Nick, who has made it clear he is now seeing someone else.
The book focuses on the movie shoot and includes very little of Tilda's co-workers at Entertain Me!, the magazine to which she frequently sells articles. While they are more prominent in previous books in the series, this one doesn't suffer without Tilda's editor or sly rival Nicole, but I would have liked to see a little more of Cooper. Tilda's co-worker Cooper is a fun character and a supportive friend to Tilda. It would have been nice if he could have joined her on location to help with her investigation. However, I liked the emphasis on Tilda's research and writing as opposed to office politics.
In the few parts of the book in which Tilda is at home and not in Cape Cod, I found her troubles with her roommate Dianne to be distracting from the main storyline. Dianne is keeping a menagerie of pets in the apartment she shares with Tilda, and unless Tilda secretly enjoys sharing her small living space with dogs, cats, guinea pigs, a bird, and a snake, it seems unbelievable that she would allow Dianne to continue to add to her collection of animals. While it's an ongoing joke in the series that Tilda has terrible luck with roommates, this was my least favorite part of the book.
However, in spite of that small annoyance, this is an enjoyable mystery. The author cleverly begins each chapter with a synopsis of an episode in the fictional "The Blastoffs" series, a snippet from one of Tilda's articles, or a relevant quote from real-life actors. This technique adds to the plot and the realism of the story and provides a bit of humor throughout the book.
I also like the ending and the way in which the author wraps things up for each of the characters. While I had hoped for something a little different for Tilda and Nick, I still like the way things turn out at the end. The style of this book reminds me of Laura Levine's Jayne Austen series, but the humor in Kelner's series is more subtle but still very entertaining.
This review was originally written for the "Season for Romance" E-Zine. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Posted March 10, 2011
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Posted December 15, 2010
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