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A Killer Read Mass Market Paperback – Apr 3 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (April 3 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425247031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425247037
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #429,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The first in the Ashton Corners Book Club series introduces the reader to a charming cast of characters in a fictitious small town. At the inaugural meeting of the mystery book club a stranger to town, with a reported broken down car, is murdered sometime after he barges in to the manor holding the club meeting. Not only is he ostensibly a stranger, but he is killed with an antique hand gun owned by the owner of the home. Lizzie Turner, the leader of the group and a literacy teacher, is drawn in to solving the mystery especially after she starts mysteriously receiving chapters of a manuscript that reads like a journal. Are the two mysteries connected and what if anything does her father's death have to do with the investigations? The main characters are interesting & engaging & I am looking forward to reading more books in the series. Full disclosure; I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I voluntarily posted an honest review.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Who wouldn't love to live in the quaint and charming Alabama town of Ashton Corners? Neighbours look after each other, kids drink soda and say ma'am, there's no Mafia, and hard-working reading specialist Lizzie Turner helps reluctant teens. What's missing other than a book club?
Widow friend Molly Mathews is thrilled to volunteer her own plush Victorian mansion to the first meeting of the Mystery Readers and Cheese Straw Society. The table is set with delectables sweet and savoury as the friends settle in. Romance may be on the menu with the handsome new male lawyer in town, a surprise guest of one of the members. Scarcely have they commenced arguing companionably about what book to choose first than a strange man is standing in the hall. Car trouble, so he says, and makes a phone call. Before the evening ends, he's found shot outside in his vehicles, far down the long driveway. And with an old gun that had been in the house for decades. How did he get it? Is this a suicide or a murder? What would Poirot do?
Once identified, the stranger may have had distant connections with the town, but any main players are now dead. Matters turn complex in the ongoing investigation when it's discerned that some book club members may have left the room for a few minutes each in the course of the long meeting. But they're all such upright citizens, and they say that they've never seen him before. The handsome but untested chief of police has unfinished dating business from high school with Lizzie, which intrigues her, but the retired chief doesn't trust the young pup to do any job right.
What was the dead man doing at the mansion? The car excuse seems to have been a total ruse.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, interesting mystery April 3 2012
By Debbie - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"A Killer Read" is a cozy mystery that also has a good bit of romance in it. This novel is the first in a series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. The characters were interesting, engaging, and reacted in realistic ways to the various issues they faced (which was more than just "whodunit").

While there were clues, it was difficult for Lizzie (and the reader) to know how they all connected--though once you knew how, it all made sense. I didn't guess whodunit, though there was enough clues it was technically possible. The author did a very good job with this.

The descriptions of the people and setting were vivid, but there weren't many details about Lizzie's job (though I didn't mind that). On the other hand, the author was a little heavy with some unnecessary details. We got a complete description of what everyone was wearing every time we came across them and a list of every item of food eaten whenever a mealtime or snack time went by. It did slow the pacing, but never for very long.

I thought it was interesting that Lizzie has a low level eating disorder. She finds comfort in eating food. She can't turn down a sweat or high calorie food, but she justifies this by adding more time to her already long exercise routine. I'd be interested in seeing this issue subtly addressed in a future book in the series, but I doubt it will be.

There was no sex. There was a minor amount of explicit cussing and swearing. Overall, I'd recommend this engaging and interesting mystery.

I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Series that feels Familiar! April 20 2012
By J & L Rigod - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a charming surprise to me. Not only did I truly enjoy the story and meeting new characters, each chapter had a familiar quote by Authors I follow religiously and somehow my favorite novels were chosen also.

The story follows an Reading Specialist, Tutor, Literacy Teacher, Lizzie Turner who has returned to her childhood town to live and work in. Lizzie's Mother has special needs which need her living close by as well.
No one is quite sure what happened to Ms. Turner to cause her withdrawal from the present.

During a book club meeting at the home of Lizzie's friend, Molly, a man comes wandering into the house. What happens next will affect the lives and reveal the past of the groups that frequent Molly's home.

That is all I am going to reveal as the story is tightly written and each piece fits into another like a cleverly made jigsaw puzzle.

Ms. Chase writes with a 'voice' that feels familiar to me and I instantly felt at home with the rhythm of the scenes. I will look forward to her next novel "Read and Buried" due out in December, 2012.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTED Aug. 2 2012
By S. Schreiber - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so looking forward to a new first in series mystery. But it took me forever to read it...Boring...
I kept reading hoping there would be something in the next chapter....I have over 1000 cozy mystery books.
and was hoping I could find another author coming out with something to catch my attention.
Seems like main character Lizzy, just drives to teaching classes, to friends, eats, feeds her cats: her personality doesnt grab your imagination...for the murder to happen in the beginning, the story went no place
for chapter after chapter....
I doubt very much I will buy the next book..Unless I find it used.....
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing Dec 28 2012
By fuzzhead - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I always look forward to finding a new cozy series, but this book was a disappointment. To anyone who does not live in the south, y'all is not every other word and is always plural. The author has obviously not spent much time in her adopted part of the country. There was no sense of place in this book and the characters seemed rather wooden and mundane. As mentioned by other reviewers, I found the mutual admiration society with fellow authors who had recommended Ms. Chase's book a bit much.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a mystery and a book lover's club: a fine debut Aug. 30 2012
By Violetta - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book in a new series about a book club whose members we get to know quite well, Lizzie Turner who is a reading specialist, and her friend Molly. There are several different generations included, since Lizzie's mother and a few other elderly folks figure in the story, and there are some young members of the book club, such as the very interesting teenager, Andie (Andrea). There are other female friends, several male members of the book club, and Mark, the attractive chief of police, all of whom are well-drawn characters whose personalities are vivid and interesting.

When a strange man is murdered at Molly's house, where the book club meets, she and Lizzie feel bound to investigate, but this isn't the typical plot we see so often in cozies, where an amateur sleuth investigates and gets in the way of the police. It's much more intelligent and interesting than that. Because it all takes place in a small town, there are connections from the past that gradually fall into place as Molly and Lizzie follow a few leads, but as far as they know, they are mainly looking into their own pasts, not solving the mystery. It all unfolds nicely from there with several twists that keep the reader interested.

There are also some other attractive features: love interest (but not overdone), two Siamese cats (Edam and Brie), and many references to mystery writers and mystery plots. Frequent readers of cozies should certainly enjoy that, and the list of recommended mysteries from members of the book club found at the end is great fun. By then, we know each of their personalities well, and we can see from the lists how their mystery picks reflect their individual personalities.

This is a series to follow, especially if you like books, book clubs, and cozy mysteries. It's a fine debut.

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