IMITATION OF DEATH

CHERYL CRANE

Publisher:  Kensington Publishing Corporation

Published Date: August 28, 2013

ISBN-10: 0758258887

ISBN-13:  978-0758258885

Genre: Mystery

Source: Received for an honest review from publisher

Book Description (from Amazon)

Cheryl Crane, daughter of movie icon Lana Turner, brings her Hollywood insider expertise to the second book in a star-studded mystery series featuring celebrity realtor-turned-sleuth Nikki Harper and her screen goddess mother, Victoria Bordeaux…Nikki Harper is a superstar among Hollywood realtors. Among private investigators however, she’s strictly amateur, and her first case was a Waterworld-sized disaster. But when a body turns up in a dumpster behind Victoria Bordeaux’s mansion, Nikki feels duty-bound to get involved. Before his demise, Eddie Bernard was the uber-privileged son of one of the biggest TV producers of all time, and a spoiled, violent, party-boy loser. The list of people glad to see him gone could stretch from one end of Bel Air to the other. In fact, about the only person Nikki’s sure is innocent is the prime suspect: Jorge Delgado, her childhood friend and the son of Victoria’s housekeeper. With the D.A. and the media throwing the words “death penalty” around, Nikki has to help. Victoria, of course, can’t wait to delve into another Tinseltown scandal, and soon Nikki is submerged in a secret world of celebrity drug-dealing, dangerous cults, conniving stars, illegal aliens and, of all things, the Food Network. With the aid of a voyeuristic neighbour and some good old-fashioned bribery, Nikki starts to close in on the truth. But can she keep Jorge from facing the final curtain…while keeping herself out of a killer’s spotlight?

MY THOUGHTS:

I was very interested in reading IMITATION OF DEATH by Cheryl Crane after I knew a little of the author’s background.  Cheryl Crane is the daughter of Hollywood movie legend, Lana Turner.  Interestingly, Crane herself committed murder in 1958 at the age of 14 when she fatally stabbed her mother’s abusive boyfriend.  The stabbing was ruled to be justifiable homicide because she was protecting her mother at the time.  Crane has written an autobiography, Detour: a Hollywood Tragedy – My Life With Lana Turner, My Mother and other books.

IMITATION OF DEATH is the second book in the Nikki Harper Mystery series.  It can be read as a stand alone novel.  IMITATION OF DEATH seems to be a story that is parallel to Crane’s personal life.  Today, Crane works in real estate in California.  Her heroine, Nikki Harper, also works in real estate and has a mother who is a Hollywood legend.  Crane’s personal background in old Hollywood has apparently been a positive factor in creating Nikki and the other characters in this series.  Her inside knowledge of celebrity life has enabled her to create a believable and exciting fictional mystery.  I found myself fully engaged in this mystery involving celebrities and scandal.  The plot is excellent and there’s a surprising twist in the end.  I think all mystery lovers will enjoy IMITATION OF DEATH.

RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Mild

REVIEWED BY:  Molly Waters

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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