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Without Mercy by Toni L. P. Kelner
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There was a lot of this book that I liked a lot, probably due to my higher than normal interest in old television shows and by-gone stars. Still, I didn't absolutely love this book and I'm not sure why. I liked Tilda just fine but there was something that kept me from raving about the book.

I plan on reading the next in the series, just to see if I like it more. I hate when I can't put a finger on why I didn't love a book. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
Boston-based Tilda Harper is a freelance journalist who writes about entertainment and specializes in where-are-they-now? features. A story of Tilda’s about the cast of one of her favorite 1970s sitcom, the ultralight “Kissing Cousins,” is given a sensationalized headline by her editor: Curse of the Kissing Cousins. It seems that the two of the show’s stars died within a very short period of time, one in an overdose, the other in a motorcycle accident. After Tilda’s article is published, the next-in-line cousin is murdered. Fans are asking “Who will be next?”

Next in line is Mercy Ashford, according to a super-fan and Tilda’s friend and source, Vincent Peters. But while she was researching the “curse” story, Tilda was unable to locate the elusive Ms. Ashford. She went completely off the radar screen in the 1970s in the middle of shooting her first post-Kissing Cousins movie. Of all the characters on the show, Tilda identified most with Mercy. So, for her follow-up story, Tilda is hot on her heroine’s trail. Can Tilda locate the star to warn her that she may be next?

Curse of the Kissing Cousins was a delightful diversion … fun, fast-paced, with an added bonus: a glimpse into the world of celebrity journalism. Tilda is a sweetie pie: funny, self-deprecating, and not madly in love with a cop – something I always appreciate in a cozy heroine. And the author keeps her story firmly planted in an actual investigation without getting sidetracked too much. Secondary characters are great – my favorite being Tilda’s mean-spirited colleague at Entertain Me! Magazine, Nicole Webber. She’s someone readers will love to hate.

My only disappointment was the author’s occasional foray into coarse language, both in dialogue and in the third-person narrative. The f-bombs were totally unnecessary. I’ve never understood the need to interject such language into a cozy mystery – when authors have to know that the bulk of their core readership finds it distasteful and many will entirely avoid books that contain it.

By Diana. First published in the Cozy Library August 7, 2009.

Review based on publisher- or author-provided review copy.
  NewsieQ | Jan 24, 2011 |
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Entertainment reporter Tilda Harber's latest piece, about the curious deaths of two of the cast members of the cult-hit sitcom Kissing Cousins, has generated so much buzz that Tilda is considering a follow-up. Then, a third member of the show is found dead -- murdered. It seems that someone really is killing the cast one by one. What Tilda doesn't realize is that the killer is only one step behind her...… (more)

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