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Dead Air (Talk Radio) by Mary Kennedy
Review by Mel Jacob
Signet Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451228772
Date: 05 January 2010 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Middle-grade and Young Adult author Mary Kennedy opens a new adult mystery series with radio talk show host Maggie Walsh. Trained as a psychologist, she deserts Manhattan for sunny Cypress Grove, Florida. Dealing with the emotional and relationship problems of her audience keeps Maggie on her toes, but a bomb threat followed by a fire frightens her. Then, her latest radio guest, Guru Sanjay turns up dead and her roommate Lark Merriweather is the last person known to have seen him.

Determined to prove Lark innocent, Maggie begins to investigate the death. As her efforts continue, others want to stop her. A number of people had reason to hate the guru. Maggie learns his assistant might have feared he planned to fire her. His ex-wife holds a grudge. The mother of a young woman all but destroyed by him hates him.

When Lark visited him in his room to express her admiration and ask him to autograph a copy of his latest work, the fat louse tries to take advantage of her. She pushed him and he fell. Unfortunately, she had attacked and severely injured another man several years before so the police focus on her.

Maggie's initial dislike of Sanjay grows stronger the more she learns about him. His fame came at the cost others. He used people: his ex-wife, his assistants, people who brought property from him. He specialized in fraudulent property speculation and grew rich while others lost everything.

Lola Walsh, an aging actress overshadows her daughter Maggie. Forever playing one part or another, she stuns Maggie with her surprising knowledge and observant nature. In many ways, she makes a better detective than her daughter.

At times, Maggie does dumb things and only her mother or her friends save her. She also feels a strong attraction to the sexy detective investigating the case. He warns her to let the police do their job and cease her own efforts to uncover Sanjay's murderer.

Maggie and her adventures are too similar to a rash of other mystery novels featuring smart-mouthed women in varying professions. The humor needs work. This novel doesn't measure up to I Scream, You Scream by Wendy Lyn Watson or even Dipped, Stripped, and Dead by Elise Hyatt. A second novel titled Reel Murder is scheduled for June 2010.

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