Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Sketch a Falling Star

Sketch a Falling Star (Portrait of Crime - Book 3) by Sharon Pape

Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 304pp
ISBN-13: 978-0425246696
ISBN: 0425246698

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Sharon Pape on the WEB: website

Books in the series: Sketch me if You Can (2010), To Sketch a Thief (2011), Sketch a Falling Star (2012)

CoverArt: Click on the picture for a larger, clearer image of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Sketch a Falling Star


When the “Way Off Broadway Players” get swept up in a flash flood while sightseeing in Arizona, Rory McCain’s aunt Helene and her fellow amateur thespians survive—with the exception of Preston Wright.

The victim was actually a womanizing scam-artist who duped nearly everyone in the troupe, as well as an ex-con who operated under various aliases. While Preston’s death was deemed to be an “act of nature,” Rory can’t discount the possibility that human nature may have contributed to his drowning.

But even as she investigates the cast of characters to find out which one played the villain, Rory is finally on the verge of solving a cold case -- the murder of her ghost partner, Zeke.


Rory and Zeke are back in the third Portrait of Crime mystery, Sketch a Falling Star. Author Sharon Pape has written a book that will appeal to both cozy readers and supernatural enthusiasts. This novel features a sidekick ghost and neighbor with some eerie abilities. Pape's characterizations are well written and her smooth writing style is fluid and fast paced. This is a quick read that will grab the readers interest quickly and drive it toward the conclusion with zeal.

This is another series that got my interest right from the beginning. The initial draw for me was the unique premise of the whole series. Pape uses a career choice to launch the series, that doesn't follow the typical cozy pattern. I had read several cozies that feature a former law enforcement hero or heroine, but in the Portrait of Crime series, Pape takes it a step further and makes her heroine an artist as well. Rory is a former sketch artist and she uses her skills in each installment in the series. In Sketch a Falling Star she begins to sketch the visions of her new neighbor Eloise and they lead her to some startling conclusions about the murder of one of the local thespian club members.

I enjoyed the fact that Pape hasn't let the original flavor of the series dim. She continues to keep Rory's talents at the forefront as well as keeping Zeke's cold case a priority. In this one Rory is determined to help Zeke find out who murdered him. She is essentially working two cases, Zeke's cold case from 1878 and Brian Preston's accident/murder that took place in the present. Zeke finally gets some answers, but readers are left wondering what it will all mean for Zeke and Rory's relationship. Will he move on? Or continue to be Rory's sidekick and biggest supporter? That is a mystery in itself.

Brian Preston's murder is a little different. Maybe it was a freak accident... maybe it wasn't. His mother hires Rory to find out what happened to him, not seek justice, but for peace of mind. I found it interesting that she didn't want the killer punished. There were tons of motives and suspects in this one, since the victim was a bit of a scam artist, who had caused a lot of pain and suffering for a great deal of people. It's safe to say that, there were very few who were sad to see this guy go. I liked the whole accidental murder ideaand thought it believable and interesting. I always find myself sorting through the clues just like the heroes. This one didn't have me completely stumped, but I didn't have it quite right either. A great new installment to a wonderful cozy series!

Pape definitely knows her way around a sketch pad. The unique details of the series are a huge selling point. She gives readers multi-facted and intriguing characters, both of the human sort and the supernatural. Zeke has to be my favorite, his sense of loyalty and his sense of humor really strike a cord. Pape introduces new characters while spending time with her tried and true cast members as well. This is the kind of book that really makes a reader want to continue learning about these people, they are starting to become like friends. I enjoyed this one, it was quite good.

Sketch a Falling Star is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!


Sharon Pape is the author of the "A Portrait of Crime" mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. Sketch Me if You Can(August 2010) was the first book in the series. The second book,To Sketch a Thief, was released in June 2011. The third in the series, Sketch a Falling Star will be released by Berkley on March 6, 2012.

She is also the author of three earlier novels, one of which was condensed in Redbook magazine. It was the first paperback original the magazine ever condensed.


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Sketch a Falling Star by Sharon Pape.

~ You must be a GFC follower or E-mail subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only!
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST April 17th.

1. Please leave a comment in appreciation to the author on this post, not the form.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Booklady said...

I read the first book in this series and absolutely loved it. I have book two on my TBR pile on the nightstand. If only someone would pay me to stay home and read, but then who would tell the elementary kids about good books? Sharon I love your series because it's a great mystery series, but I enjoy the artistic aspect too. My 2nd major in college was art. Unfortunately, I'm a better librarian/photographer than I am a sketch artist. Still I loved to read about artists.

Krista said...

This book sounds wonderful, the plot behind the story is interesting because typically people would write it off not try to investigate but Rory is trying that is a great person and good human nature. Can't wait thanks

Beth said...

Sounds great! I'm always looking for a new cozy!

cyn209 said...

thank you for the chance to win Sharon's latest.......

lag123 said...

I have not read this series but have it on my TBR list. I love the idea of a sidekick who is a ghost.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Renee said...

This series is new to me. I have to start at the beginning and can't wait to read them!

Karen B said...

This sounds like a terrific series! My wish list is getting longer.

Sue Farrell said...

I like the idea of a ghost partner---should make for a fun book.

Mary (mkdmom) said...

I love reading cozy mysteries, but with so many of them out there now, I'm really being picky about starting new ones. After reading the synopsis of this book and the great review, I'll be adding this series to my new list.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this series. It sounds very good. Tore923@aol.com

catslady said...

This is a new author and a new series for me but I enjoyed the review. Sounds like a good one. thanks

bn100 said...

Very nice review. The character's job sounds interesting.

Carol N Wong said...

I would love to read this book and get started on this wonderful series. I like the idea of an accidental murder too. It will great to read about a sketch artist.


Cathie said...

You had me at ghost partner.


mamabunny13 said...

I have not read any of the series yet but I'm looking forward to it.

Carol M said...

This sounds good! I always enjoy books with ghosts!