>> Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Life Without Parole by Clare O'Donohue
Publication Date: 2012
The Short Version:
Free lance TV producer Kate Conway gets involved in a murder investigation when she comes to the aid of the woman who was her dead husband’s mistress.
Why I Read It:
The first book in the Kate Conway series (Missing Persons) was a fun mystery with a refreshing set up. TV reality show productions that become the source of the mysteries for an amateur sleuth to investigate. I only read it a few months ago but I quickly got on the library waiting list for this second book.
Kate Conway is getting bored with working on television redecorating shows but it pays the bills. When she’s offered a project to produce a show about men serving life sentences in prison she takes it because she needs something new. At the same time she also gets involved in a reality show about the opening of a high end restaurant. It’s only fter she accepts the second project that she discovers the reason she was recruited. One of the restaurant investors is Vera who is an acquaintance of Kate’s. They’re not exactly friends because Vera was Kate’s dead husband’s mistress.
When a murder occurs at the yet to be opened restaurant, Vera is the prime suspect. Kate may not exactly like Vera, but she knows Vera is not a killer. In her efforts to help clear Vera’s name Kate walks a dangerous line in trying to get information from the convicted criminals she’s interviewing for the Life Without Parole show.
The second in the Kate Conway series takes place seven months after the first book. Kate is still coping with the death of her not quite ex-husband and pretty bored with jobs she’s been doing producing home improvement television redecorating shows. She’s excited about two new projects just for the change of pace. She’s not exactly thrilled to discover that Vera Bingham is involved in the restaurant show and in fact requested Kate be offered that job. Despite the fact that Vera was her dead husband’s mistress, Kate has a hard time truly disliking Vera and she’s positive that Vera didn’t commit the murder at the restaurant.
I liked this second book just as much as the first. Kate and her two crew members (Andres wielding the camera and Victor the sound man) are a good team and their relationship and banter is fun. Like Kate, I have a hard time disliking Vera and if she’s guilty of anything it’s trusting the wrong people and being naïve. Kate’s sister is another recurring character whose efforts to urge Kate into a more sedate lifestyle are sure to fail.
The mystery in this one had me guessing and took a few twists and turns. I like the way that the two storylines of the restaurant murder and the convicts meet up and touch on each other. Kate uses them and is in ways used herself and the danger of trusting the wrong person or being manipulated by someone who is an expert at it all become part of both stories.
It’s fun and fast paced with the television production being an interesting and different setup for an amateur sleuth. I liked this second in the series quite a bit and will be looking forward to the next one. Since it’s a relatively new series you can easily catch up before the next book is released. You can read my review of the first Kate Conway book here.