Fiction Can Be Murder

Fiction Can Be Murder

by Becky Clark

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Overview

Fiction Can Be Murder by Becky Clark

LIFE BECOMES STRANGER THAN FICTION WHEN CHARLEE'S LATEST NOVEL INSPIRES A REAL MURDER

Mystery author Charlemagne "Charlee" Russo thinks the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books are only the product of her imagination—until her agent is found dead exactly as described in Charlee's new, unpublished manuscript. Suspicion now swirls around her and her critique group, making her confidence drop as severely and unexpectedly as her royalty payments.

The police care more about Charlee's feeble alibi and financial problems than they do her panicky claims of innocence. To clear her name and revive her career, she must figure out which of her friends is a murderer. Easier said than done, even for an author who's skilled at creating tidy endings for her mysteries. And as her sleuthing grows dangerous, Charlee's imagination starts working overtime. Is she being targeted, too?

Praise:

"The charming heroine and the supporting cast shine in Clark's fun and funny solo mystery debut...which doesn't take anyone too seriously in the best way possible."—Kirkus Reviews

"Cozy fans should enjoy this funny and affecting view into a mystery writer's life."—Publishers Weekly

"Charlee Russo is my new favorite amateur sleuth! Wickedly witty author Charlee takes us along on her wild ride to prove her innocence in the murder of her literary agent, a murder based on the plot of one of her own books! Giving readers an inside look at the writer's life, Becky Clark pens a funny, clever page turner of a mystery and I can't wait for the next one in this terrific new series!"—Jenn McKinlay, bestselling author of the Library Lover's Mysteries

"Becky Clark wields a witty pen, writing about an author who is plunged into her own mystery."—Marty Wingate, author of the Potting Shed and Birds of a Feather series

"Becky Clark is a hilarious new talent in mystery fiction. With a mixture of humor and plot, Fiction Can Be Murder pulls back the curtain on the creative writing process and exposes the homicidal thoughts that take place while writing a book."—Diane Vallere, national bestselling author of the Costume Shop mysteries

"In Fiction Can Be Murder, Becky Clark gives us a fun and funny peek into the writers' life. Although in the case of her protagonist, the smart, likeable, and feisty Charlee Russo, that life includes the real murder of her agent. This clever mystery, first in a new series, is perfect for book lovers."—Vicki Delany, national bestselling author of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mysteries

"Fresh, fast, and furiously fun, Fiction Can Be Murder packs one surprise after the next. Becky Clark writes with wry wit, a keen eye, and no shortage of authority on this particular subject. Charlee Russo is like a lot of authors I know—except most of them only dream of killing their agents."—Brad Parks, Shamus-, Nero-, and Lefty-award-winning author of Closer Than You Know

"This killer plot will take you on the literary ride of your life. In this new series, Clark has crafted an intriguing mystery that opens the door into the crazy world of literary agents, publishers, royalties, critique groups, and murder."—Cheryl Hollon, author of the Webb's Glass Shop Mysteries

"A promising series debut."—Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738753324
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 04/08/2018
Series: A Mystery Writer's Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 177,778
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

A highly functioning chocoholic, Becky Clark (Denver, CO) is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them, too. She published her first novel in 2001, and is a sought-after speaker.

Customer Reviews

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Fiction Can Be Murder 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Katandjim 8 months ago
This book is a great read! I really thought Charlee and her writing group friends were so funny and great together. The story is about Charlee’s Literary agent being murdered in exactly the way Charlee had written a death in one of her yet to be published mystery novels. Charlee’s agent was not well loved and many suspects come into the picture, including Charlee herself! Charlee knows she has to solve the mystery before she is arrested for the murder. Charlee doubts everyone and starts investigating anyone who had access to her preview copy. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next book in the series. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion from Netgalley.
Carstairs38 9 months ago
Melinda has a reputation for taking pleasure in being mean to people. Even though Charlee Russo is an author this agent represents, she’s seen Melinda’s mean streak before. So it isn’t necessarily a surprise when Melinda winds up murdered. What is a surprise is the method – straight out of Charlee’s just submitted book. Clearly, someone in her life is trying to frame her for murder. But which of her friends could it be? Early on, I was worried that I was about to be flooded with suspects. While there are a lot, they were presented in a way that it was easy to remember them as the book went along. It also helped that potential series regulars are also suspects and that the characters are distinct. I did feel like the plot focused on one aspect of the mystery over some of the others, but there was still a good twist or two and the ending had me turning pages as quickly as possible.
CozyMarie 12 months ago
Laugh out loud funny, this book will keep you entertained from the beginning until the very end. This book drew me in from the beginning. The author has an entertaining and comical writing style that makes you immediately identify with the protagonist. The book infuses humor, but also deals with some heavier topics in the sub-plot. This combination kept me engrossed in the book all the way through and it was hard for me to put it down once I got started reading.
CozyMarie 12 months ago
Laugh out loud funny, this book will keep you entertained from the beginning until the very end. This book drew me in from the beginning. The author has an entertaining and comical writing style that makes you immediately identify with the protagonist. The book infuses humor, but also deals with some heavier topics in the sub-plot. This combination kept me engrossed in the book all the way through and it was hard for me to put it down once I got started reading.
KrisAnderson_TAR 12 months ago
Fiction Can Be Murder by Becky Clark is the first tale in A Mystery Writer’s Mystery series. Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo is at her writer’s critique group when she hears the news that Melinda Walter, Charlee’s agent, was found dead. She was murdered using the method in Charlee’s unpublished manuscript—Mercury Rising. Since only a handful of people have read the manuscript, Charlee is propelled to the top of the police’s suspect list. Charlee is left with no choice. She must investigate Melinda’s death to clear her name. With the suspect list narrowed down to her critique group, Charlee must discern who killed her agent and is trying to frame her for murder. Charlee’s imagination goes into overdrive especially after she notices a SUV following her. Is she the killer’s next target? Fiction Can Be Murder had an interesting premise. A mystery writer whose own work was used to murder her agent. I wanted to get a peek into the life of a mystery writer. Unfortunately, Fiction Can Be Murder has a terrible main character in Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo. Charlee comes across as paranoid, annoying, judgmental and unstable. She thinks that anyone on the street can be a killer and they might attack her at any moment (she wonders if the lady with the double stroller is carrying an Uzi). I forgot to mention she is also clumsy. She is known for having coffee spills on her clothing (she needs a sippy cup). Of course, Charlee is also scattered brained. She forgets to charge her phone and is frequently late (let’s face it—she is never on time). I could have done without her using an alley for a restroom. There is a lack of character development, so the characters come across as flat. Now and then the author sticks in a detail or two. The mystery consists of Charlee “questioning” her friends (verifying their alibis) in an accusatory manner (when she is not hiding in her apartment) and endless speculation. Charlee was not subtle in her questioning. I am amazed that any of these people are willing to be her friends after the case is solved. The term “bull in a china shop” is apropos for Charlee. The solution was laughable, and the ending was rushed (considering the 90% of the book was devoted to Charlee questioning people). I did find the method of murder unique and imaginative (I liked it). Fiction Can Be Murder is told in the first person and the story rambles (there is also repetition—Charlee’s Kia is mentioned 20 times). The writing lacked an ease and flow. I found the story to be disjointed. Please be aware that this book does contain a small amount of foul language. Fiction Can Be Murder was not a good fit for me (It felt more like a rough draft than a finished novel). Please get a sample and see if Fiction Can Be Murder is the right book for you. We are all individuals with different reading tastes.
VWilliams More than 1 year ago
This book is every bit as much fun as a cozy mystery but without the recipes! Is it or is it not a cozy mystery? Well, maybe so, though it's sub-titled a mystery writer's mystery, and that's not really a cozy mystery cover, I don't think. So where do I start? Charlemagne (Charlee) Russo is a mid-level mystery author who has an agent, (Melinda) so you know she must have had some measure of success. She is not, however, doing so well she bought a condo with a view. Living in an apartment, several of her characters are the apartment dwellers in and around her. She is also deep in a writer's critique group. The problem? Her agent was murdered as described in the manuscript she is currently developing. And can Charlee be described as a person of interest? Yes, if you consider she is unhappy that her royalty payments have been decreasing lately. Snappy patter, realistic dialogue. The prologue is a hook and you can't back out. Besides the clever protagonist Charlee, who is fairly well developed (I'd guess some back story will be forthcoming in the second of the series explaining a tremor) and peripheral characters developed well enough to get a grasp on where they stand on murder, you'll have a number of laugh out loud moments as the author turns up the humor meter, along with some notable quotables: "...manuscripts were never finished, only abandoned..." "I'd tell you to go to hell, but I never want to see you again." (Tell me that isn't classic.) Even non-authors can identify with those sentiments! The story wraps on a satisfying conclusion, pulling most loose ends together, although reached just a tad bit into unpresented discovery. Fast and evenly paced, well-crafted plot, lively characters real enough to imagine without heavy descriptive devices (human nuances keeping them in the mind's eye), and a clever peek into a writer's life. Engaging and entertaining. I was given a download of an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. As the first in a new series, definitely a (cozy?) mystery writer I'll be following and I can't wait to see how Becky Clark will follow this one up!
LLPodcast More than 1 year ago
Clark’s novel is an entertaining whodunit that hits all the marks to make this a fun and interesting read. With it’s cast of quirky characters and its own plot devises give this a rewarding payoff. Starting out as a writer writing a murder mystery, the narrator soon finds herself in her own mystery which uses the same techniques and situations as her novel that she is currently working on. This was an ingenious plot device which helps elevate this from the standard fair. The characters are overall likeable but there are some that don’t quite make the mark but this doesn’t take away from the overall structure. The plot points are interesting and at times keeps the reader involved to its exciting climax. Clark has included an interesting plot twist that fits well with the solution to the mystery with its rich texture adept writing style. Unfortunately, the book does fall a little flat in the middle but does lifts itself out for the final quarter of the novel which makes it almost forgivable. Overall, this is a fun murder mystery and for the audience of this genre, this should definitely please the armchair sleuths.
CozyOnUp More than 1 year ago
Mid-list mystery author, Charlee Russo has finally reached a level of success where she can write full time...if only her agent could figure out why her royalties have been shrinking and get the payments back on track. But before Melinda Waters is able to respond to the request, she ends up murdered using the same method used by the killer in Charlee’s most recent manuscript...and ties up all royalty payments in probate for awhile. Only a select group of people have had access to the manuscript, all known by Charlie, yet Charlee feels she’s being set up to take the fall. Charlee sets out clear her name and cross her friends off her own suspect list in the process. The final reveal was a surprise. Being a major mystery fan, I usually find them all enjoyable on some level, but while I was engaged in this book, I really found the writing and characters lacking. Charlee comes off as unstable and quite paranoid. The killer is out to get her, everyone around her is a potential murderer with her the target, and she goes around accusing everyone she speaks to with the way she engages with them. I’m hoping the next book is stronger and the characters are better developed.
Barbara-Tobey More than 1 year ago
Clever and amusing cozy mystery. Particularly enjoyed how the ending wrapped up some of the back story details. Interesting characters. The publisher provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley.
Shelly9677 More than 1 year ago
I appreciate it when a book can get my full attention in the first dozen pages - maybe there is a good hook; maybe I can instantly connect with the characters; maybe the writing just draws me in. Happily, all three happened for me while reading, “Fiction Can Be Murder.” It is the first in the Mystery Writer’s Mystery series. It is quick paced and entertaining and I am so glad I decided to check out this new series! The main character makes sense as a sleuth. Charlee is a mystery writer who does a fair bit of research to create her fictional crimes. Her brother is a policeman, as was her father. The suspects are intriguing and the ending is fulfilling. I am looking forward to reading other books by Becky Clark!
rc1836 More than 1 year ago
mystery plus romance Becky Clark's first book in The Mystery Writer's Mystery series had an interesting premise, a murder based on the main character's next mystery book. I thought Charlee was an interesting character but some of her actions were a little over the top. Too the story didn't flow well for me. This was just an "okay" read for me. I received an advance reader copy from Netgalley.
bluegreen91 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this mystery, and it was an especially nice change of pace from my usual read - cozy mysteries. The protagonist, Charlee, is a mystery author whose agent is murdered in a well-planned, unusual way, and she must find the killer before she's arrested for the crime or winds up next on the killer's radar. There are several strong suspects, but they all had verifiable alibis, so it's a challenging mystery to solve. I appreciated how realistic Charlee is, and liked her wit and sarcasm. I look forward to reading more about Charlee and other books by Becky Clark! I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.