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Posted March 31, 2012
I love a good mystery. Peace, Love, and Murder qualifies. After the end of his military career, protagonist Bo Forrester has returned to his hometown in search of his estranged, peacenik parents. Finding they’ve moved on with no forwarding address, Bo decides to stay. Suspected of murder when a corpse is found in the trunk of the cab he is driving, Bo sets out to find the real killer.
The basic premise of this murder mystery is tried and true. A protagonist stumbles into a situation and then tries to figure it out on their own rather than leaving it to the professionals. There are thousands of murder mysteries build on this foundation. The plot follows the typical path, with Bo finding more and more potential suspects, investigating, and eventually putting all the clues together, with plenty of adventure and suspense along the way.
What makes Peace, Love, and Murder unique are the characters and the humor. The idiosyncratic characters populating the book are seldom what they appear, often having two sides that seem in conflict. This starts with Bo, who has done his time in the military, yet still believes in the make-love-not-war ethos he learned growing up on a sixties-style commune. There is the odd-couple pairing of Carl and Ronnie, who take Bo’s cab from their trailer park to work and back each day, arguing (and making the reader laugh) all the way. The overly ambitious deputy for the sheriff’s department, Trudy Hauser, is continually making amusing missteps. She tries to appear hardcore, but has a soft side, which helps her win Bo’s confidence. Holtzner has put it all together to give us a fun and entertaining read.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Posted October 31, 2011
Reviewed By Lynn for Readers Favorite.
'Peace Love and Murder' by Nancy Holzer is the first book in her Bo Forrester 5 Star Mystery series. Bo Forrester was born in the days of the peace lovers, the flower children and hippies. At eighteen Bo leaves the commune to join the army much to the dismay of his parents. Twenty years later Bo returns to Rhodes New York hoping to reconnect with his past, only to find the commune gone and a sub division in its place. Now Bo has a job driving a cab and accused of murder, when a body is found in the trunk of his cab. With clues pointing to robbery, Bo is a suspect and Trudy Hauser, a disastrous deputy is trying to arrest him. To top it off, it's not even her case. When Bo decides to help find the person who placed the murdered man in his cab he did not realize just what he was getting into. Things he learned in the army come back to memory as he deals with corruption, greed and a body count that keeps growing.
This is the first in a series and after reading this book I know I will want to keep up with the adventures of Bo Forrester. I found Bo and Trudy to be quite a pair of humorous characters that really set the stage for the book, and the secondary characters did lend quite a bit to the plot. I like the fact that the author did not really get off track but kept the suspenseful action moving and did not give away clues as to who the killer was till the end. The story narrated by Bo has been done quite nicely, and has not become distracting to the plot. I found this book to be quite enjoyable and hard to put down. Not only do we have a mystery book but a humorous one also. If you are looking for a great weekend read then I recommend 'Peace, Love and Murder'.
Posted October 26, 2011
Overall Feedback: Exceptional mystery that hits all the right notes and takes the reader for a wild ride and you will enjoy til the last page. Nancy is exceptional at storytelling and is really just giving this one away.
Point of View: This is told from the viewpoint of Bo Forrester, a former soldier and soon to be detective.
Voice: Nancy has a way of drawing the reader in and thrusting you through the story.
Character Development: I know that most writers will be envious of this authors ability to develop her characters.
Plot: Straightforward and helps move the story forward.
Dialogue: Perfect execution and delivery.
Pacing: Unbelievable pace as the story rockets to a suspenseful and mysterious end. You will not be disappointed.
Setting: Nancy is well versed in describing the setting and making it a integral part of the story.
Continuity: I could not find any issues with this area and if you do you are just nit picking and not enjoying the story.
Posted September 30, 2009
I Also Recommend:
What grabbed me right off was the voice. What held me were the characters. Peace, Lover & Murder is written from the lead character's first person perspective. First person can sometimes distract me, but not this time. The writing is great, and Bo is such a likeable character, it made for a fun read.
Bo (legally changed from Rainbow) is a cab driver who gets caught up in solving a complicated murder, mostly because he's a suspect. The corpse was found in his cab. Trudy, the other main character, is a deputy determined--at first--to nail Bo for the murder. Bo is a lot of fun without Trudy. Trudy's a funny disaster on her own. Together, they're great entertainment.
I enjoyed the transitions in the novel. Trudy relentlessly pursues Bo to hang a murder charge on him, they develop a relationship of sorts, which gets tugged and strained and reshaped and broken and repaired... Pretty much expected gyrations but in clever ways. Trudy kept me laughing, although she'd be shocked and defensive to learn that. Bo is easy going with intense passions, which makes for an interesting character. The characters grow but remain true to themselves.
So I found the main characters interesting, which is a big part of the battle to claim this reader as a fan. There are clever touches throughout the novel. They're never forced or overdone--sometimes the way the authors turns a phrase, other times coming across as a natural part of Bo's character. That aspect added a little zing to the read for me. The storyline was fun and contorted (in a good way) and always moving, more points in the novel's favor. There was a little more wrapping up after the climatic, high-action scenes than I normally like, but there was a lot to wrap up in this novel, and it didn't hurt my enjoyment of Peace, Love, and Murder. Some of the "wrapping up" was actually there to prepare readers for the next in the series. It worked. This reader gives PL&M 5 stars and will definitely read the sequel.
Posted July 26, 2009
When Bo Forrester was eighteen, he could no longer reside at the commune his gentle parents raised him in; so he enlisted with the army. Two decades later, he has come home to Rhodes, New York praying they can reconcile, but the commune has been replaced by a sub-division and no one seems to know where his parents went except somewhere out west. He drives a cab while seeking information on his parents.
He is driving Carl and Ronnie to work when Deputy Sheriff Trudy Hauser stops the cab for speeding. Ronnie flees, but Trudy tackles him and finds marijuana on him. When Bo pops the trunk, Trudy stares at a corpse; later identified as history professor Fred Davies. Whereas Trudy believes Bo is guilty and follows him legally and not so legally, he begins to investigate and soon finds a horde of people who loathed Davies; others die, but though suspicion remains even stronger that Bo is the killer, Trudy believes he is innocent and teams up with him to uncover the killer.
This is an enjoyable whodunit starring a fascinating hero who grew up as "Rainbow", a name he detested, but now misses his loving parents. His relationship with Bo turns from suspicions and distrust to strong attraction and maybe love although the change by Trudy seems too abrupt and ends her Inspector Girard like persistence of chasing the "fugitive" that added freshness to the mystery (even if she should have been suspended). Still fans will appreciate this fine murder who-done-it enhanced by Bo's past and look forward to a sequel in which he goes west to track his parents.
Posted September 10, 2009
No text was provided for this review.