Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Lida Sideris and her mystery novel Murder: Double or Nothing: A Southern California Mystery.
Author’s description of the book:
Corrie Locke, newbie lawyer and daughter of a late, great PI, is learning the ropes at the Hollywood movie studio where she works–and where things are never what they seem. Life imitates art when a fictional murder attempt turns real–right before her eyes.
With more than a little help from friends and a crazy movie legend, Corrie trips down a trail littered with wisecracks, mysterious messages, and marginally legal maneuvers to track down the killer. Meanwhile, clues keep disappearing and Corrie makes an enemy whose deadly tactics keep escalating. Will her impromptu sleuthing skills be enough to catch the mysterious assailant before he takes her down?
A note from me:
I have a soft spot for zany crime novels with an unusual premise. (Full disclosure: even though my own novel Shape of Secrets is a fantasy, it is also a murder mystery.) So this is my second review of this author, and I hope to do more. Before I post my review of Lida Sideris’ third book Murder: Double or Nothing, I’d like to show you my review of Sideris’ second novel Murder Gone Missing, as done in July 2018.
In Murder Gone Missing, Lida Sideris has written a clever and funny story to entertain fans of light-hearted mysteries.
What I liked best:
- This is a witty, fast-paced book with enough unexpected twists to keep the reader engaged.
- The author paints descriptions with an artistic flair, and a hint of crime noir satire. Passages like “Fog crept around the hilly street, clasping hands with the darkness” abound. Better yet, she does it deftly enough that they don’t slow the story down.
- The protagonist Corrie Locke may steal high-fashion items from her mother, but she is a tough and capable detective with a good heart.
- One of my favorite scenes is when main character Corrie admits she has been antagonistic to another character for so long that she doesn’t even remember why she is doing it. The bit of self-awareness is in stark contrast to the sometimes unjustified sharp banter, and it did much to win over my sympathy for Corrie.
- The author does a noteworthy job of ending chapters in such a way that the reader just has to keep going.
What I liked least:
- At least one other novel preceded this one, and I never felt quite up to speed on the interpersonal relationships between Corrie and her two potential love interests.
- In places the book reminded me a little too much of the famous Janet Evanovich series, upon which it appears to be modeled. (One spunky woman PI and two gorgeous men.) For example, Corrie’s sidekick Veeda talks entirely too much like Stephanie Plum’s sidekick Lula.
- Witty and fast-paced can be overdone. In its least effective places, the book becomes a series of flippant one-liners in need of a little emotional honesty.
The power of what I liked well exceeds what I didn’t, and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a mystery with touches of humor and just a hit of romance.
Now …. My Review of Murder: Double or Nothing:
In Murder: Double or Nothing, Lida Sideris has improved on what she does well, and softened some of the rougher edges in her second novel. She has once again written a clever and funny story to entertain fans of light-hearted mysteries.
What I liked best:
- Once again, this is a witty, fast-paced book with enough unexpected twists to keep the reader engaged. As an added plus, who doesn’t like to read about Hollywood?
- The protagonist, Corrie Locke, not only has a new law degree, but she seems to be a more capable crime solver than before, and a little less inclined to break laws without consideration of the consequences. I liked this more mature and capable character.
- I liked what has happened with the other characters, too. Love interest Michael is more lovable, high-fashion mom is more likeable, and Corrie’s sidekick Veeda has become more of her own person (and far less a clone of Stephanie Plum’s sidekick Lula.)
- The author continues to do a noteworthy job of ending chapters so that the reader just has to keep going.
- Plus … both Sideris and her creation Corrie really take their game up a notch in the suspense filled ending. Corrie shows her best yet as both a fighter and as a detective, and Sideris delivers a taut page-turner of a finale.
What I liked least:
- I still struggled with not feeling up to speed on Corrie and her fascination with a competing love interest, Michael’s best friend James. Clearly, there is history here and it matters. I wish I knew what it was.
- Witty and fast-paced can be overdone, and in my opinion Lida Sideris’ style at times would benefit from more transitions to add flow to the story. While her dialog and plot developments are never quite as jarring as in the previous novel, in its worst spots this book becomes a series of actions scenes and flippant one-liners in need of more connection and motivation behind them.
However … as with the previous book, the power of what I liked absolutely exceeded what I didn’t. In fact, I enjoyed this book more than its predecessor and I’d recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a fun mystery.
About the Author:
Lida Sideris’ first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke. Lida lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens. She was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award for her first book.
Yes, there is a giveaway.
Lida Sideris will be awarding a copy of the book (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops.