When I was asked to read Lights, Camera, Murder! by Linn Random, I kept putting it next on my "to be read" list, adding new books in front of it as I'm not really a mystery reader; the whole who-done-it plot drives me crazy. Usually within a few chapters, you already know the Who and the why behind the crime. Not many authors can put mystery and romance together and make it work. Most romantic suspense stories lack either character development, or the tension necessary to build the suspense and/or the romance necessary for the story. However, I do have one series that I read, one that I just cannot wait for the next book to come out. So after reading the blurb I thought I would give this one a chance. I was hoping it would not be a waste of my reading time like so many other romantic suspense stories have been in the past. When I did start reading Lights, Camera, Murder!, I was sorry I had put it on the back burner for so long.
Sand Point Inn is the perfect setting for a make-believe murder TV show. Isolated and surrounded by water on three sides, attached to the mainland by a tiny piece of land that serves as a natural bridge. Dark foreboding swamps stood as twin sentinels on either side of the roadway. The perfect place for a murder? Indeed.
McCall Security is handling the security for the TV production now in progress and Sage McCall is the heir-apparent for her father's successful company out of Los Angeles. However, when people start turning up dead and missing, it all takes a turn from make-believe to reality for Sage. Dealing with Jon Maddux, the Police Chief of this quiet Florida town just might be the death of her though. He made it very clear that the film and cast were not welcome in his town.
The mystery part of this book really keeps you guessing from the first murder scene. However, was it really murder or was it just a plot leading up to something better? You are always trying to figure out who-done-it and why. As the person plots the next phase of their plan, you start questioning yourself over what is really happening.
When Sage finds herself daydreaming about Jon, picturing the tall, tanned, good-looking man, she knows she is in trouble. As Jon watches Sage more and more, she drives him to the edge of no return. Can they fight the feelings they are having in order to find the person behind the events taking place? Or will those feelings be too much for them both to deny? The romance part of this book is good because it gradually leads up to something unforgettable. It's not rushed and doesn't dominate the story, as many other romantic-mysteries do. You get to see and feel the emotions involved from both leading characters. However, when the romance takes off, you are drawn right in.
Linn Random has written a great romantic-suspense story with Lights, Camera, Murder!. She has combined the two genres to make a story not soon to be forgotten. The only problem I found in this book is the editing. Simple things that should have been caught on the first read through. However, even with the minor editing problems the story grabs your interest so that you forget everything but the great plot Linn Random has going. This is the first of a series, and I for one will be looking for the next installment.
Reviewed by Tammy Adams
© September 2005