Book Review: The Bad Always Die Twice by: Cheryl Crane

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation

Publish Date: August 30, 2011

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Hardcover

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Set in Hollywood, The Bad Always Die Twice is the first of a wildly entertaining series set amidst the bright lights, big egos, and Botoxed brows of Hollywood. It is partly the glitz and glamour of Jackie Collins novels and partly the LA streets of hard-boiled James Ellroy.

Who better to tell this tale than Cheryl Crane, daughter of Hollywood legend Lana Turner and actor-restaurateur Joseph Stephen Crane? Cheryl was involved in the Johnny Stompanato scandal of the same period. She allegedly killed the hoodlum because he threatened to kill her mother.

This mystery features Nicki Harper, the daughter of a screen goddess, who is raised in a completely dysfunctional home populated by a cast of crazies but who did not follow in her mother's footsteps. Instead, Nicki is a real estate agent who wants a quiet, comfortable life with a little love and happiness thrown in.

Up until now, Nicki always thought that dead meant dead. But then, film icon Rex March turns up freshly murdered in the bed of Nicki's best friend after being reported dead six months ago. A little distrustful of law enforcement, Nicki feels compelled to solve the murder on her own. Her acquaintances range from the pinnacle of Hollywood royalty to the bottom of Tinseltown's barrel, including a not-so-grieving widow, a conniving younger lover, a best friend with secrets, a jilted mistress, a ''closeted'' confidante, a wacky neighbor, and a scheming business partner. Rex has a gaping hole where his eye used to be, and Nicki knows a lot of people with motives for the murder. The killer is getting ready for a repeat performance, so Nicki must act fast before her own screen fades to black.

Review: Nicki Harper, daughter of screen goddess Victoria Bordeaux, gets caught up in a mystery when her best friend and business partner, Jessica, is accused of murder. Rex March died a few months ago in a plane crash, but then he turns up in Jessica’s bed dead as a doornail. Now Nicki is out to prove Jessica’s innocence and keep her real estate business going at the same time. Nicki is interviewing the people close to Rex and once the pieces start to come together, is she putting herself in danger of ending up like Rex?

The Bad Always Die Twice is a lively and entertaining mystery. Ms. Crane has come up with some interesting and endearing characters, especially that of Victoria Bordeaux, Nicki’s mother. The story was well paced and intriguing with a look at an industry that lives on surface appearances where the truth lies beneath the glitter. I am looking forward to reading much more from Ms. Crane!

Nicki Harper Mystery Series: The Bad Always Die Twice (1)

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