Wednesday 3 August 2022

Book ~ "Happy Never After" (1996) Mary Kay Andrews (Kathy Hogan Trocheck)

From Goodreads ~ Since retiring from the Atlanta Police Department, Callahan Garrity is really cleaning up with her House Mouse housecleaning company - especially since she added "crime investigation" to the list of services offered.

Callahan agrees to locate the missing member of the popular '60s girl group, the VelvetTeens. Then lead singer, Rita, is found passed out drunk by a swimming pool near the dead body of the trio's former producer. The smoking gun in Rita's hand suggests that the VelvetTeens won't be reuniting for a comeback tour anytime in the near future ... unless Callahan and her "Mice" can spotlight - and survive - a different killer act. 

Callahan used to be a police officer and changed careers when she bought House Mouse, a cleaning service that she runs with her mother, Edna ... but she still does private investigating on the side.

The VelvetTeens are heading for a comeback but are missing Delores, who no one has seen in about 20 years. Vondette, one of the singers, Delores' cousin and the ex-wife of a good friend of Callahan's, hires her to find Delores.  Rita, Delores' sister and a bandmate, has fallen into hard times over the years and is now an alcoholic,  When their former manager, Stu, ruins their potential comeback, Rita vows to kill him ... and then is found passed out at his house holding the gun that just killed him.  She is arrested and Callahan is then redirect to help her lawyer to prove Rita didn't do it.  Stu had lots of enemies so it could have been anyone.

The writing was okay, though it could have been edited better as there were words left out. The storyline was convoluted and there was a lot going on (too many side stories). The ending came quickly and I wasn't buying it. It is written in first person perspective in Callahan's voice.  Because it was originally written in the early 1990s, they are still using pay phones, CDs, answering machines, etc. and there are references by Callahan of growing up in the 1970s. Some of the terms used are now cringe-worthy. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

This is the fourth in the Callahan Garrity Mystery Series ... I read the first one in 2018 and recently picked the series back up again.  Though part of a series, it works as a stand alone as there is enough background provided.  It's not a great series but I'm now halfway through so I'll keep going to the end.

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