Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Nightmares Can Be Murder

Nightmares Can Be Murder (Dream Club Mystery - Book 1) by Mary Kennedy

Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425268055
ISBN-13: 978-0425268056

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

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

Mary Kennedy on the WEB: websitefacebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Nightmares Can Be Murder, courtesy of the author's website.


Dream Team

Business consultant Taylor Blake has returned to Savannah, Georgia, to help her sister Allison turn her dream of running an old-fashioned candy store into a reality. Allison is also interested in dream interpretation and invites Taylor to her Friday night Dream Club, where members meet once a week to share and analyze their dreams.

When a local dance instructor, Chico Hernandez, is found dead in his studio, and the murder scene has an eerie resemblance to one of the dreams shared at their meeting, Taylor can’t help but be intrigued. And when her sister, who was briefly involved with the dance teacher, becomes the prime suspect, Taylor and their fellow club members can’t be caught napping. It’s up to them to dream up a solution to the murder before Allison faces a real-life nightmare.


Mary Kennedy's new book, Nightmares Can Be Murder is the first book in her Dream Club mystery series. An old fashioned candy store, a dream interpretation club and a dance instructor come together to give readers a great mystery experience that is unique to the genre. Kennedy gives readers a quirky cast of characters and plenty of suspects in this whodunit! They won't know what hit'em! 

What I liked:

When you read a lot of cozy mysteries you start to see a lot of trends in the genre, whether it be mysteries set in bookstores, mysteries involving cats, mysteries with the same predictable cast of characters and even mysteries that don't make a whole lot of sense. Mary Kennedy, however has provided readers with something different. The dream club team is a first for me. I haven't seen that before in the genre and I applaud the author for coming up with something new and refreshing.

Dream interpretation is an interesting idea and I think readers will really flock to it. Who doesn't wonder if their dreams actually mean something sometimes? Or you get that prickly feeling on the back of your neck when you have a dream that is somewhat prophetic in nature. Did I really know that was going to happen? I love it! I think it's a great idea for the series. Kennedy is tapping into the readers curiosity with both the mystery aspects of the book and the dream club plot line. There are so many different directions the author can take this one, I can't wait to see what happens.

The retro candy store idea was also well thought out. It gives the series another niche to work from. I often find myself looking at all those candies from days gone by when I'm at Cracker Barrel or other stores. Pop Rocks, Bottle Caps, even Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum. I loved all of the references to Allison's store and how they were interwoven into the book. Kennedy is on to something by providing two avenues for the mysteries to come from in this series. If she runs out of ideas in one area she can easily switch to the other.

Taylor is the main character and she has taken some time off from her regular job to help her sister Allison get her candy store off the ground. When Allison becomes suspect number one in the murder of a local dance instructor, Taylor is determined to find the real killer. She has quite a bit to work with and plenty of suspects since Chico had some shady business dealings and a few too many ex-girlfriends. But it's the help of the Dream club that really solidify's the case for her and the help of a possible love interest, in private detective, Noah. I thought Taylor made a good amateur sleuth and Mary Kennedy really kept me on my toes with plenty of twists and turns. I certainly didn't have this one figured out before the end. 

Beyond the Book:

Go out and try some retro candy! You can buy it in a lot of different places. You could even pick up a book on dream analysis and try to interpret some of your own dreams! A dream club sounds like a very cool idea!

Bottom Line:

This is a great mystery. Kennedy comes up with a refreshing theme that has been overused. She also adds in a secondary theme with the retro candy shop and gives readers a quirky set of dream club members, a great heroine in Taylor and even a touch of romance with Noah. I think Kennedy has hit all the good qualities for a great whodunit. It was interesting and hard to figure out! This has the makings of great new series.

Nightmares Can Be Murder is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

Mary Kennedy is the national bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the Talk Radio Mysteries. She was the recipient of an award from the National Endowment for the Arts for "artistic excellence in literary fiction." She is also a practicing clinical psychologist who lives in the Northeast with her husband and eight neurotic cats. The cats have resisted all her attempts to psychoanalyze them but she remains optimistic.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Nightmares Can Be Murder by Mary Kennedy.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, September 25th.

1. Please leave a comment about what you think of your dreams. What causes them? Can they be prophetic? Do you believe in dreams? etc.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

Dreams are interesting. Things that happen during the day, people I think about, trigger them. I could not even begin to interpret my dreams.

cyn209 said...

I seem to have different levels of dreams.....they can be 'about nothing', sometimes real-life is incorporated in them, sometimes they move from being subjective to objective......I can dream in sequels.......
very very strange, I know!!

Linda Kish said...

I don't seem to dream very often. When I do, I have tried to remember them but I never do.

Karen said...

None of my dreams seem to make sense once I wake up....glad I was only dreaming!

Alicia said...

I'm usually glad that it is only a dream. I'd hate to think that most of them might mean something. :)

Karen B said...

It is rare that I remember a dream for more than a few minutes. They never make sense to me but bring a smile to my face when favorite people are in a good one.

holdenj said...

Yea, I think when work things show up in my dreams, I am working too much or stressed over an upcoming thing. Sounds like a great new series. Thanks.

lag123 said...

I have dreamed that I found items that I had lost, and when I wake up I know right where they are. Subconscious I guess.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

traveler said...

I do have dreams but don't believe that they have a great deal of meaning. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

justpeachy36 said...

Personally, I think it just a combination of things that we think about and are faced with in our every day life, that our sub-conscience gets a hold of and twists around a bit. I don't think they are highly significant other than to show we need to quite worrying so much LOL!

Sue Farrell said...

I seem to dream about things that I'm worrying about or some deep seated fears that I know I have.

Carol M said...

I don't usually remember my dreams. I don't think they are very important.

Mary V said...

I particularly like when I have a dream about a friend or relative who has passed away. It feels like you can to visit with them again for a little while. I also like dreams where celebrities show up!
Debbie thanks for your review. Like you I am finding the cozy genre getting a little repetitive and dull so it's good to hear about a new series that has something new to offer.

Laura S Reading said...

Usually I feel my dreams are rehashing things I've experienced during the day or thoughts that are troubling me.
But I also believe they can be predictive of things to come.

Unknown said...

I think dreams are a way for the brain to process what is on your mind. For example: a a problem that needs resolved or a desire that needs played out.

If I go to bed before I complete process a troublesome event, I dream about it.

cb (at) carolbee (dot) com

bn100 said...

they can be interesting

Unknown said...

Dreams can be cool. They let you explore situations that wouldn't be possible in real life.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I think that dreams are just a mixture of subconscious thought and things that happen throughout your day. Considering some of the dreams I've had I sincerely hope they are prophetic.

Anita Yancey said...

Most of the time my dreams are just a crazy mixed up mess, and sometimes about a show I watched on TV. But when I was in high school I had a dream that a friend would die in a car wreck, and when I went to school the next day I found out that they did die in that car wreck the night before. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Unknown said...

my dreams tend to reflect the stress level. if i dream about dragons, i know i am overwhelmed. but sometimes food or medication can creat vivid dreams too. so prophetic? not really. but they can reflect your emotional level.

Michelle F. said...

I had been eating pizza for a few days because we had ordered some from Marco's Pizza so the last dream I can remember was about a woman knocking on my door saying that a place (maybe Pizza Hut?) was giving away free pizza. Then the scene changed and I was in a mall looking down onto a lower level and saw the pizza place.

Sometimes you dream about things that you don't want to happen or about stuff you should do. I've dreamt about someone throwing some things away because I never got around to cleaning and doing it myself.

I love cozies with cats and craft shops and don't get tired of the usual format, but I can still appreciate something new such as this.