Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review and Giveaway: A Little Night Murder

A Little Night Murder (Blackbird Sisters - Book 10) by Nancy Martin

Publication Date: 08/05/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 384
ISBN-10: 0451415272
ISBN-13: 978-0451415271

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

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

Nancy Martin on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Blackbird Sisters

  1. How to Murder a Millionaire
  2. Dead Girls Don't Wear Diamonds
  3. Some Like It Lethal
  4. Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die
  5. Have Your Cake and Kill Him Too
  6. A Crazy Little Thing Called Death
  7. Murder Melts In Your Mouth
  8. No Way To Kill a Lady
  9. Little Black Book of Murder
10. A Little Night Murder

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, A Little Night Murder, courtesy of the author's website.


Murder under the stars... 

Nora Blackbird—pregnant at last!—is spending summer afternoons wallowing in the Bucks County pool of her best friend, Lexie Paine, who has just been released from prison. At night, Nora is covering Philadelphia’s high-society events for the local newspaper. And this time she doesn’t have to look far for a good story.

Next door, a Broadway show is in rehearsal at the estate of Toodles Tuttle, the long-deceased but ever-legendary composer. Reigning over the estate is Toodles’s diva widow, Boom Boom. The demanding old broad still rules with an iron fist, and considering the chorus line of enemies she’s racked up over the years, her death has been a hotly anticipated event. So imagine everyone’s dismay when it’s her beloved daughter, Jenny, who drops dead—from a cause that is anything but natural—just as the lights are set to go on for the lucrative new Toodles musical.

Yet murder is only an overture to the drama to come.... 

Nora’s sister Libby, a soon-to-be-grandmother, has gotten herself into a sticky situation, wooed by both a lowly bug exterminator and a cheesecake-loving Broadway impresario. Edgy sister Emma has a dangerous new boyfriend who may jeopardize her show-jumping exploits. And the love of Nora’s life, Mick Abruzzo, has been desperate to prevent Nora from meeting the most notorious member of his mobbed-up family—his mother.

Now Nora has to deal with the bump-and-grind of her personal life, and also bring the curtain down on a daring killer—before he forces her to exit stage left, permanently.


Nancy Martin's 10th novel in the Blackbird Sisters Mystery series, A Little Night Murder will have readers thinking Broadway and delivery rooms. Martin continues her story of three once privileged sisters who have seen better days in her latest cozy offering. This is the perfect mystery for theatre lovers and mystery buffs alike, as it focuses on the murder of the daughter of a late musical genus. Readers looking for a series with strong family ties (even to the mob) won't be disappointed with this one!

What I liked:

I always look forward to the next adventure with Nora Blackbird and her sisters Libby and Emma. There never ceases to be a lot of drama where these three are concerned but it is there deep rooted love and respect for each other that solidifies the series. Sisters will be sisters! Sometimes they don't get along, or don't approve of each other's decisions but they always have each others backs. Nancy Martin does such a good job of showing that in every novel she writes about the Blackbird sisters. The bond between sisters is full of magic and murder in this case.

A Little Night Murder finds the sisters in some stressful situations as Nora is about to have her first child with Nick, who happens to be a former mobster. She is trying to plan a wedding, preparing to meet her soon to be mother in-law, fending off advances from her boss both professionally and personally, and then a murder drops in her lap. Now that is stress! Nora as always personify's grace under pressure. I love the fact that Nora is able to keep up her sensuality and her sexiness even though she is about to deliver. It was crucial to the love triangle aspect of the story.

Meanwhile both Libby and Emma are having trials of their own including, a son, who is having an unwanted baby with an older woman, two male suitors to choose from, exterminator, or cheese cake maker, and new business idea that might be more trouble than profit. 

On top of everything else that Nora has going on, she ends up in the middle of another murder investigation. As a reporter for the Philadelphia Intelligencer, Nora often finds herself covering the social scene and the trials and tribulations of the Philadelphia elite. And where the rich and famous are, chaos follows, often in the form of murder. I loved the idea of the theatre ties to this mystery. There was a lot of potential here for this mystery to take on a Broadway quality and I enjoyed all of the behind the scenes production tidbits and interesting facts. The nods to familiar musical names was also fun but I felt like this novel focused so much more on Nora's personal life than on the mystery itself.

What I didn't like:

Add all these things together and you can see that there is a lot of family and personal issues going on in this mystery. Cozies often rely on the personal lives of the characters to fill in the gaps, but in this particular novel, they tended to take over a little bit, leaving the mystery on the back burner. I wanted to see Nora leading the way in discovering Jenny's killer, when most of the book was more about her coming babies (plural) and her love life. Not that I was disappointed in those aspects of the story, I just wanted a more balanced approach to the novel. 

Bottom Line:

I am probably going to love any novel about the Blackbird Sisters, because Nancy Martin has made them interesting and lovable characters, but this one was little light on the mystery and heavy on the personal drama. If you are fan of the series you can easily overlook this and if you're not. Start at the beginning, it will make all the difference when you get this far. 

A Little Night Murder is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

Like her heroines, the Blackbird sisters, Nancy Martin comes from a distinguished Pennsylvania family whose ancestors include Betsy Ross, a hanging judge, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. She is the author of the Blackbird Sisters Mysteries: Little Black Book of MurderNo Way to Kill a LadyMurder Melts in Your MouthA Crazy Little Thing Called DeathHave Your Cake and Kill Him TooCross Your Heart and Hope to DieSome Like it LethalDead Girls Don’t Wear Diamonds, and How to Murder a Millionaire.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A Little Night Murder by Nancy Martin.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, August 19th.

1. Please leave a comment about what you think about high society gatherings and celebrity gossip.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

i don't actually don't think much of either high society gatherings or celeb gossip

traveler said...

High society and celeb gatherings are superficial. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I enjoy reading celebrity gossip but high society gatherings are a bit much. Everyone is so phony.

Unknown said...

I enjoy reading celebrity gossip, but when every story is about one celeb, it can get quite annoying.

cyn209 said...

I LOVE celebrity gossip!! also love the covers in this series!!

thank you for the giveaway!!

holdenj said...

I actually enjoyed all those monthly visits to the orthodontist, because I could keep up with all the gossip-y info about celebrities. I don't really know much about high society, but have enjoyed the previous Blackbird books! Thanks!

Karen B said...

A LITTLE bit about each goes a long way!

Alicia said...

High society would make me nervous, so I love reading about it from someone else's viewpoint.
afarage (at)earthlink.net

Carl Scott said...

I think high-society events were more glamorous and interesting in the past when the participants were authors, actors and heads of state. Now that they're all drunk rock stars and Kardashians I don't care about them any more. I'm not a big fan of today's celebrity gossip either. Wouldn't it be better to just leave those people alone?

skkorman said...

I pay little or no attention to such things as high society gatherings and celebrity gossip—there are too many good books to be read!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

justpeachy36 said...

The thing I like about high society and celebrity gatherings is the fashion. I love to see what everyone was wearing and how gorgeous they looked. I think that's the best part for me.

Charlotte said...

I really don't give about either one,

Rita Wray said...

I like celebrity gossip, fun reading.


Sue Farrell said...

I don't take high society gatherings or celebrity gossip seriously. Occasionally, they are fun to read about just for laughs.

bn100 said...

can be interesting to hear about

Anita Yancey said...

I think high society gatherings are just for show. But I do like celebrity gossip up to a point. When they talk about the same celebrities for days or weeks on end, I really get tired of it.


Brooke Showalter said...

High society gatherings sound snooty! I occasionally read celebrity gossip but don't believe most of it!