The Bad Always Die Twice (Nikki Harper Mysteries #1)The Bad Always Die Twice by Cheryl Crane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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What a fun, little read. Jessica Martin, the close friend and business partner of Nikki Harper – Realtor and daughter of Hollywood legend, Victoria Bordeaux – has been hauled into question for the murder of a 70s TV star (still beloved, due to reruns). Funny thing: he was dead some months ago – victim of a plane crash. This time, his body proves it – in Jessica’s bed. Jessica is innocent and Nikki takes on the part-time P. I. task to prove it. Working in real estate, I could easily identify with the terms and quirks of the business described. I loved the descriptions of the houses along the way too. As a classic film fan, I also found following along with Victoria the most delightful part of the story.

Cheryl Crane, the author, is also a Realtor and daughter of a Hollywood legend – Lana Turner. Each of her titles in her mystery series is a play on a few of Turner’s biggest hits. I’ve already read the third and so far last of the series (The Dead and The Beautiful). It offers an homage to classic Hollywood and a bit to the life of a real estate agent. The stories also feel like loving tribute to Turner – Victoria has similar characteristics (same number of husbands for example), class, and wit.

I needed a cozy read after a heady grad class, so this fit the bill. There were some inconsistencies and I had to flip back a few times for clarification, which slowed me down at times. I enjoyed the story – like reading an episode of Columbo – and I look forward to reading the sequel (Imitation of Death).

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