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The Bad Always Die Twice by Cheryl Crane
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The Bad Always Die Twice (edition 2011)

by Cheryl Crane

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422273,462 (3.64)2
Member:tendring
Title:The Bad Always Die Twice
Authors:Cheryl Crane
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Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:contemporary mystery

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The Bad Always Die Twice by Cheryl Crane

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This was written by Cheryl Crane, who is the daughter of Lana Turner. It was better than you're thinking. The protagonist's mother is a screen legend. There are insights into the life of that sort of privilege--which, face it, is what I was reading it for!--but the characters are charming also. ( )
  foodairbooks | Sep 11, 2012 |
This was a fun read. When it comes to the backside of Hollywood, you have to admit that Cheryl Crane, daughter of screen legend Lana Turner, really knows her stuff. The Bad Always Die Twice is a Hollywood murder mystery with all of the fun details that only an insider would know.

Nikki Harper is a Hollywood real estate agent, selling those megamillion dollar mansions in the hills with her partner, Jessica Martin. They are young, pretty, celebrity-savvy girls:

“One of Jessica’s most endearing qualities was that she wasn’t any more impressed by celebrities than Nikki was. Their only difference was that Nikki had grown up with them and Jessica slept with them. The combination of their personalities made them a great team at work.”

Sort of sets the tone for their interaction. Jessica is the pretty, flashy girl who flirts with the gentlemen clients and reels them in. Nikki is less flashy, with a more understated style, and the Hollywood chops to make the deals. And when Jessica is accused of murder, Nikki puts those Tinseltown connections to work.

The real star of the story is Victoria Bordeaux. She is stunningly beautiful, incredibly poised, an old-school screen goddess in the style of, well, Lana Turner. She is also Nikki’s mother. Nikki’s relationship with her mother and her mother’s particular flair for dealing with people are the best parts of the book. Nikki is a great character, with a complicated love life, interesting friends and the sort of foibles that will make her a fun read. Still, Victoria is what will keep me coming back — you can just tell that she’s going to be very involved in whatever Nikki does…and that’s not a bad thing at all.

I was a little wary taking this on — sometimes you suspect that a writer got their contract based more on a celebrity pedigree than their writing talent — but it was a real pleasure. I wouldn’t put Nikki up there with my new detective lady-love, Keye Street, but I would certainly enjoy picking up the next Nikki Harper mystery.

My copy of The Bad Always Die Twice was an Advanced Reader Copy, provided free of charge.

This review was posted on my website,
  LisaLynne | Feb 19, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758258860, Hardcover)

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, Nikki 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Despite her unconventional upbringing as the daughter of a superstar actress, Nicki Harper has managed to carve out a somewhat normal life as a real estate agent. But things change when movie legend Rex March is found murdered in the bed of Nicki's best friend. Not wanting to trust the poice, Nicki sets out to solve the crime on her own. There are plenty of people who wanted Rex dead, and Nicki has to find out who that is before she meets her own final curtain call.… (more)

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