Monday, January 28, 2013

Review # 271: Rally 'Round the Corpse - An Abel Adventures Mystery by Hy Conrad

Description: (book jacket)
     It's been two years since her fiancé's death. Amy Abel needs to start over. What better way for a shy, risk-averse woman to start than to sink all her savings into a travel agency specializing in adventure? Her first project is a mystery road rally through the European countryside. 
     At the starting line in Monte Carlo, Amy finds herself attracted to Marcus Alvarez, the most mysterious of her two dozen game-loving clients. But the rally gets off to a rocky start when an eccentric writer, the only person who knows the game's solution, is himself murdered back in New York. 
     Who would kill a harmless mystery geek? And why are weird accidents beginning to happen along the way? To her horror, Amy discovers that this fictional mystery was based on a real, unsolved case, one that Marcus knows too much about. Now she has no choice but to join forces with Fanny, her domineering mother, and solve this on her own, before the killer strikes again.

     MONK, a TV dramedy series about an obsessive compulsive detective, is one of my all-time favorite shows, so when I had the opportunity to read a book by the show's writer/producer, Hy Conrad, I grabbed a bleach-wipe and pounced on it! The characters are phenomenal, each multifaceted individual breathing new life, (and new clues), into the mystery. Fanny and Amy, a mother-daughter duo, are two of my favorites! Their witty repartee, eccentricities, and well-developed personalities are realistic and complimentary, always keeping each other in check. The dialogue follows suit, full of engaging conversations and well-placed laughs. There were a few times that I had to take a break because I was laughing too much, especially during Amy's awkward moments, (no spoilers!). The plot is terrifically written and well-detailed, Hy Conrad is definitely a seasoned manufacturer of mystery and suspense. Every new clue changed my outlook on the case's resolution - a true whodunit; the twists and turns fast and sinuous, yet surprising. I can honestly say that I was in the dark about the killer's identity throughout most of the book, and I was quite taken-aback by the ending. I also loved the parallel mysteries, as well as the book's fun and lighthearted tone. My high expectations were definitely met! Recommended for all mystery lovers!

Rating: On the Run (4/5)

*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

About the Author

     Best known for his work in mysteries, Hy was one of the original writers for the groundbreaking series,Monk. He worked on the show for all eight seasons, the final two as Co-Executive Producer, and received three Edgar Nominations from the Mystery Writers of America for “Best TV Episode.”

     In a related project, Hy was Executive Producer and head writer of Little Monk, a series of short films featuring Adrian Monk as a ten-year-old. His latest TV work was as writer and Consulting Producer for White Collar.

     Hy is also the author of hundreds of short stories and ten books of short whodunits, which have been sold around the world in fourteen languages. Hy’s first full-length comedy/mystery play, Home Exchange, premiered at the Waterfront Playhouse in Key West in May 2012. And, in a different vein, he recently authored a humor book calledThings Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know.

Hy splits his time among Key West, Vermont and New York City.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much!