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Maggie Needs an Alibi by Kasey Michaels

Maggie Needs an Alibi

by Kasey Michaels

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I got this book from PaperbackSwap because I accidentally bought a later book in this series and it looked promising. I just couldn't get into it, the characters, however interesting they were, just didn't feel real to me so I couldn't fall into the story. I think this is a WONDERFUL idea but I just couldn't get into the story. ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 12, 2015 |
I did not enjoy this book at all. It was the longest week trying to finish this novel. I thought the concept of two (2) characters in author Maggie Kelly's imagination and from her novels coming to life would be delightful, fun, and just plain funny. It was not! It was a tedious and daunting task to finish this book. I kept reading as it is extremely rare for me not to finish a novel. I can only remember two (2) titles in my lifetime that I haven't finished. I wanted to finish this novel as I had so enjoyed my introduction to Kasey Michaels in reading "Dial M for Mischief". But I definitely will not be pursuing more titles in the Maggie Kelly series and I'm afraid it will be awhile before I try a Kasey Michaels novel again. This 'aftertaste' is going to take a little time to disappear. ( )
  Corduroy7 | Nov 18, 2014 |
Total number of points -- 75 points out of 100
Number of stars -- 3.5

1. Plot -- 15 points out of 20

The wacky storyline, although firmly lodged in fantasy, follows a logical, intelligent progression. Maggie Kelly, a NYT best-selling author, stymied by psychological issues and an addiction to cigarettes, discovers that two of the characters in her Regency romances come alive and take up residence in her apartment, complicating her life. At first thinking she's gone mad, she is much relieved to learn that others can also see and hear these men, even as she tries to protect them from discovery. The misuse of modern amenities, such as credit cards, TV shopping channels, and local pizza delivery, in the hands of the financially naive Viscount Saint Just and Sterling Balder adds to the charm of the story. The murder victims are hardly well-loved, and the weapons used to dispatch them turn out to be more clever and sophisticated than first glance suggests, enabling the killer to avoid scrutiny until the very end. In many ways, the insider view of the publishing world was an eye-opener, as Maggie navigated her way through the cutthroat world of romance best-sellers.

2. Characters -- 16 points out of 20

The characters, especially the imaginary ones, did actually ring true, right down to their flaws, of which there were many. The use of flowery language and obscure English dialogue by the roguish Viscount Saint Just and his sidekick, Sterling, was a big reason why it succeeded as well as it did. When the fictional pair goes head to head with the down-to-earth detective, Steve Wendell, in a battle of testosterone, the conversation and rivalry sounds all-too-human. As Saint Just and Sterling become used to being alive, they evolve in their social awareness and self-reliance, at least as long as Saint Just can get his hands on Maggie's wallet. While Ms. Michaels worked hard to create tension between the real and imaginary characters, none of them ever seemed to be people with whom I would choose to spend time or seek out for friendship. This made it difficult for me to relate to them on a deeper level.

3. Setting -- 16 points out of 20

New York City proves to be a handy locale for the story, allowing the author to have some fun with her cast. Although much of the action takes place in Maggie Kelly's apartment, Ms. Michaels uses the urban setting to thrust her characters into various predicaments typically found in the Big Apple.

4. Pacing -- 14 points out of 20

I found the first third of the book slow-going, and yet amusing -- the one-liners were funny, but the story didn't seem to get wheels to go anywhere, aimlessly bumping along like a cocktail party with guests that have all had one too many. The amount of time the author took to set the stage for the killing dragged on a bit, but once the murder got underway, the pace picked up and the personalities of the suspects seemed to emerge and become more important to the mystery.

5. Tone -- 14 points out of 20

The first half of the story seemed rather contrived and self-conscious, as if the author struggled a bit too hard to make the fantasy aspects seem believable. Once she finally set the stage and just went with it, the dialogue seemed a little more believable and flowed better. ( )
  sarambarton | Aug 16, 2013 |
To sum Maggie Needs An Alibi up in one word, hilarious. This novel is truly brain-candy in the sense that it takes you on a murder mystery adventure with a Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes style detective, plopped into the modern world with lots of sleuthing, assumptions, and sarcasm.

The ne'er-do-well was an easy guess but that didn't matter since you read this novel more for amusement and adventure than the twist. I look forward to reading Maggie By The Book. ( )
  bleached | Sep 8, 2012 |
Maggie Kelly is a mystery author who is on the New York Times best sellers list. Her mysteries feature two major characters: 1) her heroic detective Alexandre Blake, Viscount Saint Just, "amateur sleuth, hero extraordinare, world-class lover", and arrogant and 2) his sidekick and friend, Sterling Balder, "a slightly bumbling friend".

Life seems to be going well until her ex-boyfriend shows up wanting to get back together. After managing to send him out the door, she turns around to find these two characters come to life, standing in her apartment and eating her food. After a series of fainting, "dreaming", thinking she's insane, etc., she finally comes to terms that they are indeed her characters and not some mega-fans who sneaked in when she wasn't looking.

The next chapters deal with her dealing with the two; learning how to live with them and how to lie to her friends and "friends" about their existence. This includes a lot of thinking on their feet.

The murder, which usually takes place at the beginning of most murder-mystery novels, doesn't even occur until chapters 8-9. And poor Maggie is thrust into bad press and chaos, forced to let "Alex" help her solve the mystery.

The rest that follows is bravado, a tint of romance, comical relief, and a plot of conspiracy to murder.

It is a fun read and will definitely brighten up your day.

Kasey Michaels does a great job of keeping you occupied with her writing style that is both fun and serious.

And the ending is perfection. Even if you do realize who did it, you really don't comprehend how much was involved until the end.

So if you are looking for a mystery with a large helping of humor and some sprinklings of romance, definitely read "Maggie Needs an Alibi". ( )
  deepikasd | Sep 6, 2011 |
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To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything. - Anatole France
One never knows, do one? - Thomas "Fats" Waller
For Megan and Joe.
Here's to a long, healthy,
and happy life together.
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It all began innocently enough.
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Mystery novelist Maggie Kelly, who must deal with the arrival of detective Viscount Saint and his inept sidekick--fictional characters who have suddenly become very real--finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend.… (more)

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