A Fatal Fiction by Kaitlyn Dunnett is the 3rd A Deadly Edits Mystery. It can be read as a standalone if you are new to this series (or skipped a book). The author has a casual writing style which makes the story easy to read. I enjoyed the descriptions of the town and the surrounding area. The pacing varies throughout the story. Mikki Lincoln is seventy years old and a widow. After her husband's death, she moved back to her hometown of Lenape Hollow. Mikki also purchased her childhood home and spent most of her retirement money fixing it up. Mikki is a retired English teacher. She takes those skills to begin a manuscript editing business out of her home. Grammar is a theme featured throughout the series with helpful tips at the end of the book. Mikki rarely loses her temper, but Greg Onslow pushed her buttons when she was filling up the tank of her car. Unfortunately, the whole scene was caught by someone wielding a cell phone and posted online. When Onslow ends up murdered, Mikki along with her cousin, Luke find themselves suspects. When the detective seems to focus on the cousins, Mikki sets out to find the true culprit. I like that Mikki is an older protagonist who brings a mature viewpoint to the cases she investigates. The mystery had multiple suspects courtesy of Onslow's swindling ways. There is a red herring or two to distract the reader. Devoted cozy mystery readers will have no problem pinpointing the guilty party. I would have liked a better wrap up of the case. I was left with a couple of unanswered questions. Mikki needs to work on her questioning technique. She is too direct which can come across as rude. Mikki also feels the need to use her âteacherâ voice to put people in their place too often. Nick, Mikki's nephew, pays a visit and I found him an annoying individual. I know he was trying to protect his aunt, but his behavior bordered on boorish. Nick and Mikki clashed frequently. I have trouble liking the characters in this series. I want them to be more like those in the author's A Liss MacCrimmon Mystery series. My favorite line in A Fatal Fiction came from Sunny when she said, âGood riddance to bad rubbishâ when she learned Onslow was dead. A Fatal Fiction is a blithesome cozy mystery with one dead developer, a reckless writer, magnified memoirs, a nagging nephew, and an annoyed aunt.
Even though this third installment of Dunnett's Deadly Edits cozy series feels a bit flat, I still enjoyed it-- and that's primarily due to the main character, Mikki Lincoln. Her deceased husband described her as a BMW-- Big Maine Woman-- and this seventy-something freelance book editor with her hearing aids and glasses is one sharp observer with a voice that draws me right into the story.
A lot of humor is provided when Mikki is sent a "bodyguard" to keep her safe while she tries to find Onslow's killer, and I did enjoy learning nuggets of history about the Borscht Belt in the Catskills. But that's not all A Fatal Fiction has. It also has a strong mystery that took me some time to figure out.
If you're in the mood for a light-hearted mystery with an older (and wiser) sleuth, A Fatal Fiction is the book for you. If you're a newcomer to the series, start with the first one, Crime & Punctuation. You're going to have some fun.
(Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley)