Saturday, December 8, 2018

ARC Review: A Moment in Crime by Amanda Allen

A Moment in Crime
Author: Amanda Allen
Series: Santa Fe Revival Mysteries
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (December 11, 2018)

Description: The on-set murder of a famous Jazz Age film director unearths a hornet’s nest of passion, duplicity, naked ambition, and bitter revenge.

The golden age of cinema is dawning, and Santa Fe is in the grip of movie fever when director Luther Bishop arrives for the filming of his new cowboy flick. Maddie Vaughn-Alwin’s cousin Gwen Astor is in town with a bit part in the movie―but Gwen finds herself caught in a whirlwind of mischief before shooting even begins. But the plot only thickens when the detestable director is found hanging in his office.

When it comes to light that Gwen was having a torrid affair with Luther, she gets pegged as the prime suspect, much to Maddie’s dismay. But Maddie, quick on her feet with ever the keen eye knows that Luther had his fair share of enemies, and there’s no shortage of contenders. Luther’s widowed wife Bridget finally assumes her late husband’s most-coveted director’s chair, head of wardrobe Lorelei Fontaine is bitterly denied a role by Luther she was once promised, and original leading man Harry Kelly was summarily fired by Luther just upon arriving at Santa Fe.

Desperate to prove Gwen’s innocence, Maddie begins an investigation, but every clue reveals another motive―and could point to another murder―in A Moment in Crime, the second engaging whodunit in Amanda Allen’s enchanting Santa Fe Revival mysteries.

My Thoughts: Maddie Vaughn-Alwin is settling into Santa Fe, pursuing her art, and adjusting to the loss of her husband in World War I. But then her cousin Gwen Astor arrives, having a bit part in a movie being shot in Santa Fe. Gwen is different than the girl who was Maddie's best friend when they were children. She's fragile and brittle and confesses that she had an affair with the director of the film who brutally dropped her when he thought she was pregnant. Maddie wonder why Gwen would be willing to still be in his movie.

Maddie also meets another old friend from New York City who is working as a writer for the film. He invites Maddie and her housekeeper to visit the set. Maddie is curious and her housekeeper is a fan of of all the movie star magazines. Maddie discovers that making a movie isn't really very glamorous as she quickly sees the tensions on the set. When the director is found dead - an apparent suicide, Maddie is suspicious. He didn't seem at all like the sort of person to take his own life. And no one on the film crew, including his wife, liked him.

When Gwen comes under suspicion, Maddie has to find out what really happened to save her cousin.

I loved the time period and the information about the early days of movie making. Maddie is an intriguing character who is overcoming her grief and building a new life that is just right for her.

Favorite Quote:
"It seems a little far-fetched, I know. It looks so obviously suicide. But there's just something a little--off about the whole thing, isn't there? and Luther Bishop wasn't the most popular person around."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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