Killer Conference by Suzanne Rossi

Killer Conference by Suzanne Rossi
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (271 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Anne Jamieson and her critique partners are once again thrown into murder and mayhem while attending a writers conference. Anne starts to believe she is a dead body magnet when she finds obnoxious agent, Carmella Radcliff, stabbed to death in the ladies room. This brings Detective Gil Collins onto the scene. Anne had hoped for a relationship when he was lead detective on an earlier case she helped investigate, but lies and secrets drove them apart. The Snoop Group, as they’ve named themselves, decide to assist again, but then, a second agent is killed. The conference offers a long line of suspects and motives. Was it the best-selling author? A disgruntled editor? An angry agent? An attendee whose work was rejected? Or someone else? Time is running out and the conference will only last so long. Amid the commotion, can Gil and Anne rekindle the spark from months ago before the murderer claims Anne as a third victim?

Here’s an inside look at the publishing world. There are authors, agents, those listening to pitches and those pitching them. There is plenty of competition between agents and authors both. That’s all normal. What’s not normal is to find an agent dead in women’s bathroom…

This really is a look at the other side of just picking up a new book to read. The author talks about critique groups where they each look at each other’s work and offer suggestions for change. It’s done constructively and it helps them write better books. In this story, they have a replacement member they’ve just added that isn’t fitting in well. She knows her work is perfect. So what if the plot has been used many times in the past and the characters aren’t someone you care about? Her work is good and her book should sell. When no one will even list to her pitch, she’s upset. Is she upset enough to kill?

The story moves along smoothly, all the odd character quips seem natural and there are enough suspects to fill up the convention hall. The dead woman antagonized everyone. She was sarcastic, unkind, and didn’t care whose feelings she hurt. There’s a lot of motive there to sort through.

Anne was pleased to see the detective she’d met on a previous murder case. She had lied to him then, so she know he wasn’t going to resume their friendship as it was in the past. But she was determined to be at least friends and maybe something more.

When another agent is found in dead in his room, the case speeds up. Anne finally remembers what she had forgotten and almost gets herself killed by letting her face give her away.

It’s a fast, exciting read with lots of characters to both love and hate. It’s easy to feel sympathy for Anne who is trying to recapture a lost love, get rid of an unlikeable critique member, and stay alive.

Why not take a walk in the publishing world and see just how cut throat it is?

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