Monday, March 23, 2015

Review and Giveaway: A First Date With Death

A First Date With Death (A Love or Money Mystery - Book 1) by Diana Orgain

Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Diana Orgain on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from A First Date With Death, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


Reality TV meets murder in the first in a new mystery series from the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and co-author the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries.

When brokenhearted Georgia Thornton goes looking for romance on reality TV, she has nothing to lose—apart from a good man, a cash prize, and maybe her life… 

What was Georgia thinking? Sure, some cad ditched her at the altar, but can she really find love on TV? Her best friend—and producer of the reality show Love or Money—thinks so. Ten men. Ten adventure-filled dates. What can go wrong? For starters, a faulty bungee cord that hurls Georgia’s first date into a tragic spiral off the Golden Gate Bridge.

He’s replaced by Paul Sanders, Georgia’s former fiancé. But the cop isn’t looking for a TV gig. Suspecting that the lover’s leap was no accident, Paul’s going undercover. When another bachelor gets a fatal kiss-off, the reality is that someone has killer new plans for the show—and for Georgia herself. Now, under the threat of permanent cancellation, Georgia fears that the only man on the set she can trust is the one man she just can’t count on…


Diana Orgain takes reality TV into overdrive with the first book in the Love or Money series, A First Date with Death. With a unique premise and an interesting new cozy heroine, readers will be both satisfied and wanting more. This book is like The Bachelorette on steroids! Throw some murder into the mix and that completely changes the dynamic of the game. Orgain's sense of simplicity with her clues and suspects will leave the reader grasping at straws and trying to put the puzzle together. A great start to a new series.

I loved the premise for this one. You have ten men who want to date our heroine, Georgia. Five of them really want to find love, but the other half is only interested in the money. Who will she choose? Will she get the chance to choose anybody, when the bachelor's start dropping like flies. This was very intriguing. I felt like Orgain gave me something creative and different. With cozies authors have a hard time coming up with something unique, but Orgain really hits it on the head with this idea. 

Georgia is a great new cozy heroine. She isn't desperate, but she does want to find true love. She turns to reality tv to find it. She was smart and sassy and very capable of investigating what happened to some of her bachelors. I was sorry she had to deal with Paul, since he had been such a jerk to her in the past, but she did need backup and that added a whole new layer to the story. What does the future hold when it comes to these two? Too early to tell, but the author certainly has me wondering.

I liked the setting and how Orgain was able to transport her readers to the place and time she wanted. Some authors struggle with being able to get in all the setting and background information necessary to set up a series, while still giving the readers a good mystery the first time out. Orgain proves you can have that perfect balance even if it's the first book in the series. I was impressed with her plotting and character introductions and look forward to see where we go next.

Bottom Line:

This looks to be a good start to a new series. It has a killer premise that satisfied my love of The Bachelor and Bachelorette reality tv shows, but was still unique and creative. Georgia has so many good qualities in a heroine and I think Orgain did a great job with both set up and balance in this one. It's great to get in on a series at the beginning and I think this is definitely one to watch.

A First Date with Death is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

Diana Orgain is the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and coauthor of Gilt Trip with Laura Childs in the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries. She holds an MFA and BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University with a minor in Acting. Diana’s plays have been produced at San Francisco State University, GreenHouses Productions, and PlayGround in San Francisco. She lives in the city with her husband and their children.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A First Date with Death by Diana Orgain.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 6th.

1. Please leave a comment. What was your first date like? Where did you go? Tell us all about it.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

my first date was a disaster, found i did not like the one i went out with.

Linda Kish said...

First date??? I'm 65. That was a while ago. You expect me to remember that? I came from a small town. I'd have to say that it must have been a dance at the lodge or somewhere in town.

holdenj said...

On one of my first dates, we went to a Vietnam War movie called Hamburger Hill. Not really very romantic! :)

skkorman said...

Like Linda Kish, my first date was a long, long time ago—although I don't remember it, it probably was a date for either a movie or a day at the beach!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Debbie Carnes said...

I'm 61 and remember it like yesterday. lol. Me meet in Seaside Heights NJ and or "1st Date" was to Palisades Amusement PK. Everything that could go wrong did, car over heated , all kinds of crazy things. We were together for 4 yrs lol . I still think of him every once in awhile :)

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I did not really have a first date. We met cruising around town then we went to a small party together.

Alicia said...

First date with my now husband was to a movie. Then we didn't really date again until 3 years later.

Carol N Wong said...

It was back in the late 1960s! We went to an Italian restaurant and he ordered pepporoni pizza for us. I had never heard of pepporoni before. Now I am a vegetarian! On the way back, it was snowing and he pulled over to the side of the road to help a drive who got stuck in a ditch. When we got home, he kissed me on the forehead!


Sue Farrell said...

I think my first date was to a dance---it's a long, long time ago. I can remember the first date with my hubby---we went to a baseball game, then to a bar with a lot of friends.

Robin Coxon said...

My first date was a bowling date with the younger brother of a friend of my brother's. He was two years older than me and at the time I thought he was the cat's pajamas. lol!

NoraA said...

First date from hell. That's when I realized that boys didn't do it for me. Sorry.

Rita Wray said...

It was a long time ago, it was a dance.

Debbie S said...

Wow, I've got to search the memory banks. Oh, Star Wars movie with a guy I met at a party, a fast mover and that was the first and last date.

Nancy said...

That was 40 some years ago. I think it was in a gathering of some kind, not really a date date.

lag123 said...

It was a double date and we went to the movies. We didn't hit it off very well and never went out again.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Jeanette Green said...

Wow... I don't remember where and when or who was my first date. lol Guess it wasn't memberable.

Brooke Showalter said...

To the movies and the mall with several of our friends. We were all shopping for Sadie Hawkins dance matching tshirts, too.

bn100 said...

a dance

Anita Yancey said...

My first date didn't turn out to good. We were going to a basketball game I thought, but instead he parked the car and wanted me to put out. I said no, so he got mad and took me home. Thanks for having the giveaway.


cyn209 said...

oh wow!!
I don't think I've ever been on an official date.......

Bonnie said...

It was so long ago I can't remember.

Theresa N. said...

My first date was a double date and pretty great. We went out to eat.
Theresa N