Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Dead Detective Agency

The Dead Detective Agency by Peg Herring
Genre: Detective Mystery
Publisher: LL - Publications
Publication Date: April 2011
Reviewed by Chrystal Dorsey       

Peg Herring's novel, The Dead Detective Agency, is the first case in The Dead Detective Mystery Series. Herring writes a stimulating, though somewhat improbable, detective novel in The Dead Detective Agency. Meaning that some of the characters are supposedly dead and the others are seemingly serving as their hosts. And yet, other scenes are somewhat reminiscent of a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys mystery. And as in the amateur sleuth mysteries, this 261-page detective mystery has some twists and turns that will keep readers guessing right until the end.

The main character, Tori Van Camp, is a vibrant carefree young secretary, who wakes one morning on a luxurious cruise ship, where she is offered anything she may desire, including: food, clothes, recreation, and the companionship of congenial people.  The problem is, Tori has no memory of booking a cruise.  But what she does have a vivid recollection of is being shot in the chest at point blank range.

With the help of the stunningly handsome Mike and the unnervingly serene Nancy, Tori soon learns the purpose of her voyage.  Still, she is haunted by the image of the gun, the crack of the shot, and the malevolent face of the shooter.

Tori is determined to find out who wanted her dead and why? And to do so, she enlists the help of Seamus, and eccentric but somewhat shrewd detective. Together they embark on an investigation. Death is all around, the future is uncertain, and if Tori doesn’t act quickly, two people she cares about are the prime candidates for murder.

The Dead Detective Agency is not only a story of a young woman in search of her killer and the reason for her brutal death, but its also a story of the struggle to find some sort of solace as it relates to the afterlife.  Author, Pat Herring touches upon what may occur after death in such a pleasant yet humorous way, with a sprinkle of Christian faith as reassurance, one can't help but be more accepting and less fearful of the eternal life she writes of.

I initially thought this book was going to be a cutesy story geared toward the less than avid reader, but, I must say I was pleasantly surprised to discover through my journey that, The Dead Detective Agency will not only appeal to the garden-variety reader or the teenage reader, but will be of interest to intermediate and young adult readers alike - as well as those with discerning taste for "detective" mysteries.

This is the first book by Peg Herring I have had the pleasure of reviewing. I look forward to the next case of The Dead Detective Mystery Series: Dead for the Money coming soon from LL-Publications.

Peg Herring lives in Michigan and writes both historical and contemporary mysteries. When not reading or writing, Peg loves travel and directing choral music.

 Review copy provided by publisher.

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