Desperate for Death
A Kelly O’Connell Mystery
by Judy Alter
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Suspense
Publisher: Alter Ego Press
Date of Publication: January 9, 2016
# of pages: 228
Praise for Desperate for Death
Once again, Kelly is thrust into action when her family and friends are targeted by a deranged convict and this time Kelly has more to protect. I enjoyed this fast-paced and well written drama that continues to get better and better with a strong and determined heroine and a secondary cast that plays a pivotal role in the telling of this tale. It was fun watching this mystery played out with all the key elements that lead to a fulfilling finale and I especially enjoyed Keisha presence in this book. This is by far the best book in this series and I hope there are more to come in this engaging series.—Dru Ann L Love
One satisfying aspect of Desperate for Death which sets it apart from other murder mysteries is its staccato action in which everything happens at once, little seems connected, and life becomes a series of challenges. Fast-paced action keeps readers involved in not only events, but Kelly’s response to them, and in her efforts to keep her head above stormy waters.—Diane Donovan, Senior E-book Review Editor, Midwest Book Review
Judy Alter’s books just keep getting better. Her characters have real growth and the plots get harder to figure out. This one is her best of this genre….David Hartley Burlingame
I had the privilege of reviewing another book by Alter
, and I can’t say which I like better. The characters are completely fleshed out and interesting, and the mysteries are so hard to solve! Seriously, you deserve a cookie if you figured out the outcome in either.
But back to Desperate for Death. Since this is the sixth book of the series, I wonder if I would understand why her family seems to think she looks for trouble had I read the previous five books. Her husband (second marriage, her ex-husband was murdered in one of the previous books) is a police officer who is constantly chastising her for trying to play cop. This bothered me because he keeps brushing off her hunches. What was she supposed to do?! Her life is in danger and something needs to be done. Her eldest daughter was constantly blaming her, “What did mom do to bring this on us now?” At least her other daughter and colorful assistant have her back no matter what.
My favorite moments involved food (Alter must love food because of the great food descriptions in this and the Blue Plate Cafe mysteries) and her assistant Keisha. Put those two together and it was magic. That woman whipped up potato salad and fried chicken from scratch on the fly. My mouth watered with every meal Kelly had (except for the salads) and I could hear every word out of Keisha’s mouth.
Some things that didn’t ring true to me happened near the end. I can’t imagine anyone in real life carrying on with trivial plans (last minute bridal shower and wedding) in the midst of a crisis where lives are being threatened. If my friend was kidnapped on the eve of the festivities, I wouldn’t tell the guests she’s just running late and assume I’d have her back within the hour. And if a vengeful killer was on the loose, I wouldn’t take my family anywhere until their whereabouts were certain and they were apprehended.
But those few things aside, I really enjoyed this book and hope to circle back and read the others when I have a chance.
An award-winning novelist, Judy Alter is the author of six books in the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries series: Skeleton in a Dead Space, No Neighborhood for Old Women, Trouble in a Big Box, Danger Comes Home, Deception in Strange Places, and Desperate for Death. She also writes the Blue Plate Café Mysteries—Murder at the Blue Plate Café, Murder at the Tremont House and Murder at Peacock Mansion. Finally, with the 2014 The Perfect Coed, she introduced the Oak Grove Mysteries.
Her work has been recognized with awards from the Western Writers of America, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame. She has been honored with the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement by WWA and inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame.
Judy is retired as director of TCU Press and the mother of four grown children and the grandmother of seven. She and her dog, Sophie, live in Fort Worth, Texas.
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