So much mainstream mystery is from the USA, I was excited to find Erika Chase. I am befuddled the pages of "A Killer Read" are rife with American habits like "have got" - instead of plainly using "have". Erika even spells "colour" without "U", which should come naturally. American `stuff' is already abundant. Canadians with the chance to produce work, usually showcase our country. Instead, here's yet another setting in the American south!
I like the protagonist, `Lizzy' and cast, after taking time to absorb them. But the second rub is categorization as a mystery. I liken the difference to riding by car versus a plane. Some people travel without a destination. Others prefer to target one and focus time there. This book, other than inserting a death at the start, sees no action until around page 200 and reads like general fiction. The crux turns out to be good and very plausible but it isn't the cat mystery you might expect, nor is there any sense of urgency at any time. It's slow; 85% done before there's any adrenaline or danger. It almost entirely entails Lizzy pursuing a too-busy schedule every day of the week.
One thing that some authors unfortunately do, is sacrifice exciting moments for the mundane. When something interesting finally occurred for Lizzy, like receiving pages of the tale-telling manuscript; we the audience are gypped of being fuelled... because the protagonist had to go to work. Really?! Also, the characters identifying themselves as great mystery fans could be very cute in the solving of various puzzles. But those chuckles and Agatha Christie references are rehashed so many times, the remark feels forced and fizzles by the time it might have been astute. I support Canadian talent whole-heartedly but this novel mismatched expectations on several fronts.