Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Mary Kennedy on the WEB: website, facebook, goodreads
Excerpt from, Nightmares Can Be Murder, courtesy of the author's website.
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!
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.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Nightmares Can Be Murder by Mary Kennedy.
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