The BookViral Review:
Singular and wholly captivating, Real Estate, Dating, and Death: Book Two in Addison's Vivianne Murphy Mystery Series will have readers addicted both to the chemistry between protagonists Vivianne and Venice and to the tingly suspense that ripples beneath the surface.
With characters and backstories clearly established in Real Estate, Murder, and Mayhem Addison once again weaves a plot that plays to the best in genre and spins it with a level of clarity that leaves us in no doubt what she wants us to think, suspect and know. Drawing us into events that compel us to dwell on the outcome, but always finding the right balance between show and tell, with a fine eye for detail when the setting demands it.
This is essential because the Vivianne Murphy Mystery Series key themes of friendship, intimacy and truth are often shaped by perspective and can be more complicated than they might first seem. And it's this that Addison taps into to create the undeniably warm rapport that defines Vivianne and Venice's friendship and brings their characters to life.
The twists work well and not so many shocks that they begin to wear thin with Addison careful not to condense Vivianne and Venice into a handful of tropes or traits. They are genuinely interesting strong and intelligent in a genre that tends to play women as tough but essentially vulnerable characters whilst the added romantic dynamics lead to a cracking ending with the promise of more releases in the series to come.
In a genre that more often than not favours graphic detail over the elements of good writing, it's certainly refreshing to find an author like Addison who consistently delivers. A must-read for fans of the genre Real Estate, Dating, and Death is highly recommended!!
REEDSY DISCOVERY REVIEW
Loved it! 😍
An intriguing mystery with laugh-out-loud banter between characters that makes this story shine!
A year after the events of Real Estate, Murder, and Mayhem, the first book in the engaging Vivianne Murphy mystery series, the lead characters, New York City transplants, Vivianne Murphy and Venice Martino, have settled down and made their real estate brokerage a success. The narrative of Real Estate, Dating, and Death is mostly from Viv’s point of view, but Venice picks up the story when necessary, and that worked well for me. Both are fun voices, but Viv is comedy gold. The banter between the two partners sparkles, and Viv’s conversations with her mother, sister, and niece also had me in stitches at times.
I liked that the story included these two 40-something women stepping out of their recent comfort zones and dipping their toes in the dating scene. They’re still young, no matter what Viv’s mother may say.
I enjoyed the setting in the Pacific Northwest with its vagaries of weather, and the houses in the woods across from each other sounded so fun. In this story, there are also scenes in Arizona that create an interesting contrast. I liked the fun mentions of actual locations in each of the states.
A significant thread in the story is the animals. Both Viv and Ven have dogs that they call and treat like their children. There is wildlife that makes appearances throughout the novel: raccoons and lizards and bears, oh my!
But we read for the mystery, right? At first, I felt the mystery was going to be quite secondary to the evolving relationships in the series, but suddenly – WHAM! – it was front and center, and I was shocked and surprised by what unfolded. There were quite a few twists and turns and hidden connections! However, the clues to the mystery are sprinkled throughout the book for the reader to see how everything fits together. And bravo to the author for the “didn’t-see-that-coming” moment at the close of the book. Hopefully, book three is coming soon.
I recommend REAL ESTATE, DATING, AND DEATH to cozy mystery readers who enjoy a character-driven story, a Pacific Northwest or Southwest U.S. setting, or even have an interest in a sleuth involved in real estate.
REVIEWED BY: Karen Siddall
Ashley Addison author of Vivianne Murphy Mystery series
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