Saturday, August 7, 2021

Book Review: Murder Among the Stars, by Adam Shankman & Laura L. Sullivan

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Lulu and Freddie met in the Assembly Room before dinner when everyone gathered for their two-drink limit. With great difficulty Lulu managed not to tell Freddie what she’d learned about the scarf and the argument. There were just too many missing pieces, and she wanted to be sure before she made a fool of herself.

“Just focus on the competition, my angel,” he said, sneaking a kiss on the soft curve of her cheek. “I can see those little detective wheels whirling in that beautiful head of yours. I wish I could show you a copy of the blackmail letter. It’s straight out of a gangster movie.”

“I’m sure many criminals get their best ideas from the movies,” Lulu said.

This Old Hollywood mystery was a fun read, and the second installment of the Lulu Kelly Mystery series. Lulu Kelly is a spunky young actress who’s not afraid to think outside the box and solve the mysteries the police seem to struggle with.

Official synopsis:
Book Review: Murder Among the Stars, by Adam Shankman & Laura L. Sullivan
A murderer is picking off the young Hollywood starlets gathered at the swanky Hearst Castle, and Lulu Kelly might be next—unless she can find the killer first in this glitzy, glamorous, and cinematic sequel to acclaimed film producer/director Adam Shankman and coauthor Laura Sullivan’s
Girl About Town.

After being framed for attempted murder, Lulu Kelly has earned a rest. Unfortunately, there is no rest in Hollywood for a rising starlet. Lulu and her boyfriend Freddie are invited to posh Hearst Castle, where Lulu will be competing against other young actresses for the role of a lifetime. But what’s a house party without a little murder?

When a rival actress is found dead under the dining room table, Lulu makes it her mission to solve the mystery. But illusion is this town’s number one export, and it’s hard to tell the ambitious from the truly evil. As the clues pile up, Lulu and Freddie race to find the killer, even as Lulu becomes the next target.

The 1930s or 1940s setting for this book made it a quirky, wholesome, young adult read. It was notable and amusing that Lulu Kelly and her boyfriend Freddie (whose relationship apparently developed in the first book in the series) never did more than steal a kiss. How refreshing!

Most of the characters were unremarkable and primarily defined by their roles—a bunch of Hollywood starlets competing for what they’ve been told is "the role of a lifetime!"—but the name-dropping of Jean Harlow and Joan Crawford established a bit more of the timeline for the book. The gossip Lulu learned as the story went along was what established some of the possible background and motivation for the crimes, and helped lead Lulu and Freddie to where their sleuthing could uncover more clues.

Overall, I enjoyed this book more than expected. It was a great young adult mystery, and I’d be interested in reading others in the series. I’d give this one 4 out of 5 stars, and it read fine as a stand-alone.

{Click HERE to purchase}

Becki Bayley is a fan of Jenson Ackles, Jessica Alba, and the whole Dark Angel crew way back in the day. She loves spending time with her family, or alone with just junk food and books. Follow her on Instagram where she posts as PoshBecki.


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