The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala
A Book Club Mystery, Book #3
By Laura DiSilverio
Author’s website: www.Lauradisilverio.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Reading the gothic classic Rebecca already has the Readaholics spooked, and the chills only get worse when someone in town actually gives up the ghost….
Amy-Faye Johnson has her hands full coordinating the Celebration of Gothic Novels in Heaven, Colorado. The festivities start off smoothly, but the weekend is soon cursed with large egos, old resentments, and uninvited guests. Matters become truly grave when a dead body is found at the gothic-themed costume party.
The out-of-town authors claim not to know the victim, but Amy-Faye has doubts. With skeletons turning up in all of the suspects’ closets, Amy-Faye and the Readaholics must tap into their knowledge of gothic literature to find a killer who lurks in the shadows…
The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala is the enjoyable third entry in the Book Club Mystery series. With likable recurring characters, plenty of red herrings, and a gothic literature theme, it is sure to please fans of the cozy mystery genre.
Heaven, Colorado’s local bookstore is celebrating gothic novels, and event organizer Amy-Faye is coordinating a full itinerary of activities beginning with an author panel and culminating in a gothic themed costume ball. Despite the demands and difficult personalities of the headlining authors, everything goes well…until a stranger, who Amy-Faye saw throughout the event, is found stabbed to death during the gala. All of the authors and their entourages claim to have no knowledge of the man, but Amy-Faye and the Readaholics (book club members) think someone is not telling the truth. As they investigate, they uncover quite a few secrets that the authors do not want made public, but what could be worth killing the man to keep private?
I love the gothic novel theme of this mystery, and references and comparisons to the classic novel Rebecca are thoughtfully included. (If you have not read Rebecca and it is on your TBR list, read it before reading The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala because there are big plot spoilers mentioned by various characters.) All of the activities planned for the event sound like a lot of fun; I would definitely attend. The murder of Trent Van Allen plays well into the gothic theme, and the clues about his death fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The guest authors and their guests all make great suspects, and the secrets they are all trying so desperately to keep hidden provide the best moments of the story. All of the revelations are career ending doozies.
Amy-Faye is an affable, relatable protagonist who does a good job of balancing her work and natural curiosity. I appreciate that she works openly with the police and not furtively against them. It helps that her boyfriend is on the police force. The supporting characters, mainly the Readaholics and assistant Al, are about as different from each other as they can be. The town’s mayor, an ex-beauty queen BFF, a plant nursery owner, a hunting/fishing guide, and a college student all provide interesting perspectives and make valuable contributions to the investigation.
I enjoyed my time in Heaven, CO, with the Readaholics and recommend The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala to any cozy fan.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*