What could be more entertaining than a professional mourner’s convention? An actually dead actor lying in a prop coffin. And a heroine who realizes if she doesn’t find the killer fast, somebody else is going to die. Namely her.
Maybell is excited to attend her very first Professional Mourner’s convention. She’s looking forward to meeting other mourners and picking up tips to improve her graveside performances. Anticipating days filled with representative mourning situations and training, May quickly discovers the corpse lying in the coffin is all too real. To make things worse, May appears to be the last person to have spoken to the dead guy the night before.
Knowing she’s going to be the key suspect for a cop who disrespects her profession at best and dislikes professional mourners at worst, May quickly finds herself on the hot seat to prove she didn’t murder the acting corpse. That should be easy for a woman who’s become a pretty good snoop, right? There are just a couple of small problems. First, her suspect pool includes over a hundred professional mourners and vendors. And second, the real killer doesn’t want May to discover the truth. Making her unusual mourning situation not only tricky but unconventionally deadly as well.
Mayhem at the mourning convention
This third outing in Sam Cheever’s professional mourner’s series was delightful. Prior knowledge of May and her friends added to my enjoyment, especially the inclusion of feisty Pinella and Doug, the Dude, but is not necessary for this standalone mystery. The convention setting gives May & Eddie plenty of suspects to wade through. The victim had connections to multiple people with motives. Ms. Cheever weaves a story with plenty of clues to follow along with enough red herrings and twists to leave you guessing.
May is a likable character. An actor from a family of cops, she is believable in her role as amateur sleuth. By her side is her PI boyfriend and her brother, Argh. But it’s Shakespeare the Pomeranian who is the true star. His intelligence and loyalty saves the day.
There is plenty of humor in the story along with the tragedy of the murder. There is no foul language or scenes of excessive gore. The writing is clear and concise and the story is well plotted. All in all, another fun cozy from Ms. Cheever.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.