Tuesday, November 2, 2010


by Shelly Fredman
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, Indiana
ISBN: 978-1420843811

Brandy Alexander headed for LA after her cop boyfriend dumped her, where she landed a job as (what she considers) a puff-piece reporter for a local TV station. Four years later, she’s back in Philadelphia for the wedding of her best friend. Brandy’s happy to be back with family and friends, but these warm feelings are short-lived when her good friend Johnny’s boat blows up while he’s onboard. Brandy suspects this is no accident, since Johnny confided in her that he had evidence related to the recent death of a gay man which he turned over to the police, on top of which, he thought he was being followed. But the cops don’t have the evidence, nor does the DA’s office. If that isn’t bad enough, Bobby DiCarlo, Brandy’s ex, seems to be involved in the cover-up. Brandy, determined to find the murderer, plays amateur sleuth which gets her in a world of trouble with her ex and an axe-wielding mystery man who keeps trying to kill her. She joins forces with just-this-side-of-the-law Nicholas Santiago, who’s so hot, Brandy sizzles every time she’s around him. Bodies pile up and suspects abound but will Brandy survive long enough to reveal the murderer?

If book one in the Brandy Alexander mystery series is any indication of what’s to follow, this series is a guaranteed bestseller. Fredman excels at characterization and is adept at pulling the reader into the story so that they will feel as if they’re part of the gang, along for the ride. Brandy Alexander is a refreshing character, a girl-next-door type who doesn’t seem to realize the impact she has on others. No crazy diets for this girl, she’s a sweets-lover through and through and not afraid to prove it. Dialogue is so realistic, readers will think they’re in Philly enjoying all the great food and locales. First-person narrative is witty and entertaining, leading to lots of laughter. The chemistry between Brandy and Bobby and Brandy and Nicholas is teasing and fun. The plot is thick with suspects and readers will be challenged to solve the mystery. All in all, an outstanding debut for this entertaining series.

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