Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Witty Debut Mystery Mash-Up

Erica Obey
Five Star Books
February 2013

Laura Converse is a romance writer living in New York City, suffering through a massive case of writer's block and post-divorce blues. She is offered a gig ghost-writing the memoirs of Bliss Falco, self-proclaimed lover of everyone from Casanova to Hubert Humphrey in her various remembered reincarnations. Laura takes the job because she needs the cash. Laura is sure that Bliss is certifiable and when she finds out her sleazy ex, Rimes, arranged the job she knows she is in for big trouble. Rimes is a globe trotting tabloid reporter who, despite his genius IQ has no ethics and actually believes that he is pursuing serious journalism.

Laura is to meet Bliss in New Age mecca Woodstock NY, and settle into writing the memoirs. Thrown into the mix are a cast of very quirky characters including various aging hippie denizens of Woodstock, a drink and drug- addled music promoter and a very attractive gardener who just might be a warlock. The central mystery revolves around the disappearance of Patti Moran, up and coming rock star who disappeared fifteen years earlier in Woodstock, to whom Laura bears a strong resemblance. Back to the Garden is a very entertaining and witty mix of mystery, romance and the paranormal, liberally studded with pop culture references and a dash of Celtic Mythology. It could have been a mess, but Erica Obey manages to pull all the disparate elements together into a fun, fast read.

I picked up Back to the Garden at Book Expo and had no real idea what the book was about, but Ms. Obey graciously autographed a copy for me. I'm glad that I was able to read this debut novel and found it very engaging.

RATING- 3.5-4 Stars

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