by: Cheryl Crane
Published: August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover (304 pages)
Series: A Nikki Harper Mystery
***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***
Famous television writer and producer, Abe Bernard, lives next door in the newly built French Regency mansion with his 2nd wife, Ginny Bernard, and Abe’s son Eddie. Abe’s ex-wife, Melinda–still brandishing the Bernard last name, lives in a cottage, in back of the main house and on the same property.
The Bernard’s living arrangement isn’t all that unusual in the Hollywood circles and it was never the main problem with this neighbor.
The main problem is Abe’s and Melinda’s son, Eddie Bernard. He’s addicted to booze and drugs and has been in and out of rehab. Eddie has never done much to earn his keep and his hot temper and DUIs keep the police busy. However, the whole neighborhood can tell you when he’s out of rehab because the party starts and never stops. The loud music and voices rise over the fence setting everyone’s nerves on edge, again.
Soon, Nikki Harper and her famous mother, Victoria Bordeaux, are up and moving toward the sound of gunfire.
Jorge Delgado, Victoria’s gardener and Nikki’s old friend, and Eddie Bernard are squaring off, but since Eddie has a weapon at his side this fight could be lethal. Melinda tries talking sense into her son’s drug fueled temper while Nikki tries to get Jorge out of firing range. It isn’t until early the next morning that the gravity of what had transpired over at the Bernard’s comes back to hurt them.
Ina Delgado, Jorge’s mother and Victoria’s housekeeper, makes a gruesome discovery and the murder weapon causes as much fright as the body.
IMITATION OF DEATH by Cheryl Crane is a mystery that will keep you in engaged.
Nikki Harper is a breath of fresh air. Cheryl Crane plants her amateur sleuth inside Beverly Hills with the Hollywood elite, where no one is who they seem to be and where every secret has a price, and she puts Nikki into a crime with an intimate connection. This author’s characters, although famous, carry the same human faults and frailties as the rest of us.
IMITATION OF DEATH is standalone novel, but you’ll want to read another Nikki Harper mystery titled THE BAD ALWAYS DIE TWICE (Kensington 2011).