The BookViral Review:
Original crime fiction with a sublime twist of humour, it doesn’t get any better than Ashley Addison’s debut novel Real Estate, Murder, and Mayhem. Sitting in the Women Sleuths sub-genre it’s fleet of pace and laden with a bevvy of top-notch characters with Addison retaining that often elusive balance between levity and suspense throughout.
A lively imagining with the affability of a familiar soap opera there’s enough here to keep the most inquisitive reader guessing, but where Addison ultimately excels is in her characterization, creating personalities that are bold and wholly memorable, with dialogue that is timely and keenly observed.
Despite its popularity, the Women Sleuths sub-genre is oversubscribed with lacklustre offerings and those which do well are invariably the ones with the strongest characters. In Vivianne and Venice, Addison has created two genuine gems and it’s in the telling of their backstories that the levity of her prose prevails.
They’re both smart and pragmatic with snappy voices, but feminine and resilient at the same time and together they will make a great duo as Addison’s Vivianne Murphy Mystery series progresses.
A must-read for fans of the genre Real Estate, Murder, and Mayhem is highly recommended!
REAL ESTATE, MURDER, AND MAYHEM
BY ASHLEY ADDISON ‧ RELEASE DATE: SEPT. 10, 2020
In this debut mystery, a real estate broker’s life and work are a series of ups, downs, and the occasional corpse.
Realtor Vivianne Murphy earns both a client and a friend when she helps Venice Martino find a new place to live. Venice settles on a log home in Havenville, Washington, just across the street from Vivianne. The two women are soon co-workers after Venice gets her real estate license. There’s a pile of money to be made in this business, even if it’s sometimes dangerous. Vivianne buys and carries a gun and Taser for protection and has a frightening encounter with a potential client—though this allows her to put her Taser to good use. But real estate has its glamorous side, and Vivianne and Venice are thrilled by the chance to broker the sale of a multimillion-dollar home. They plan to meet the prospective buyers at the house only to discover a body there. Do they call the police? Or do they move the corpse so they won’t lose an epic commission? Their ultimate decision has unexpected and hazardous consequences. Addison’s lead female characters are captivating, particularly Vivianne. The author devotes a substantial portion of the lighthearted tale to her. Vivianne fled New York primarily to escape her overbearing mother, with whom she maintains a strained relationship. These familial subplots, including hefty backstories on both of Vivianne’s failed marriages, are wholly absorbing, perhaps more so than the novel’s mystery element. But that’s because the mystery, rather than taking center stage, plays out as another subplot. The narrative is generally high-spirited; finding a body, for example, spawns dark humor but no scares or suspense. Still, the tense final act offers undisputed perils. Addison’s brisk, conversational prose entails periodic sighs, as if Vivianne’s narration constantly reminds her how exasperating her life is.
Superb, winsome female characters headline this breezy thriller.
Copyright © 2021 Ashley Addison author of Vivianne Murphy Mystery series - All Rights Reserved.