Monday, June 23, 2014
The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper Sally Carpenter
(Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries)
Synopsis of the book: In the 1970s, teen idol Sandy Fairfax recorded 10 gold records and starred in the hit TV show Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth. Now he’s a 38-year-old recovering alcoholic with dead bodies getting in the way of his comeback! An easy gig as the guest celebrity at a Midwest Beatles fan convention turns deadly when a member of the tribute band is murdered. When the police finger Sandy as the prime suspect, the boy sleuth is back in action to interpret the “Beatle-ly” clues and find the killer.
Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, Calif.
She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award and “Star Collector” was produced in New York City.
Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.
She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.
“The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper,” was a 2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel.
“The Sinister Sitcom Caper,” the second in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series, is published by Cozy Cat Press. The third book, “The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper,” is due in 2015.
Her short story, “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in,” appears in the 2013 anthology “Last Exit to Murder.”
“Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” was published in the “Plan B: Vol. 2” e-book anthology.
Her short story “The Pie-eyed Spy” appeared in the Nov. 23, 2013, issue of Kings River Life ezine.
She’s a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles and “mom” to two black cats.
GoodReads: (kindle version not on GR yet)
My Review:The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper
This is the first book in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries series. I did not realize that at first and was getting confused. I had already read
The Sinister Sitcom Caper. So I was confused that they were introducing stuff that I already knew about.
I liked The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper. I would recommend reading them in order but they can stand alone.
I liked the characters. Sandy Fairfax seems like a real tv star. I liked all the references to Hardy boys Mysteries, Donny Osmond and Beatles. I admit to living through those days.
Sandy Fairfax was a tv character that solved mysteries. He also sang. He was on a different network and up against the Hardy boys. Like some stars he did drugs and drank to much.
Ernest has not worked for five years. He stopped drinking the day before this book started. His ex-wife will not let him see his kids till he stops drinking and is working again. He is broke or close to it. So he agrees to go to a Beatle convention. Ringo was a guest star on his detective tv show.
Bunny is a big fan of Sandy Fairfax. She is one of the sponsers for this convention. It is run on a shoe string. It is the first one in Evansville, Indiana.
Their is a Beatle tribute concert. One of the band members turns up dead. Ernest finds the body and is a suspect.
Their is a lot of trivia about the sixties, Beatles. Lots of humor, action, drama and murder mystery. It is also a clean read. It hits the right tones to be believable convention. Makes me want to go to one.
The story mostly takes place in a couple of days at the motel where the convention is staying in Evansville, Indiana.
This is a fun mystery series. I have enjoyed both books but I like Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper best. I look forward to reading more of this series.
I was given this ebook to read and in return agreed to give honest review of it.
Book excerpt: I turned to face the formidable flatfoot as Bunny slipped away. Braxton pounded questions at me as I rubbed my bloodshot eyes. I couldn’t concentrate.
“Look, detective, I’m exhausted. I’ve had a long day that started before sunrise three time zones ago.” I glanced at my wristwatch: nearly 1 a.m. Pacific or Central time? I couldn’t remember if I had reset my watch after my flight landed. “Can this wait until tomorrow? I mean, later today? The body can’t get any more dead than it is now.”
Braxton glowered at me so hard that if looks could kill, he’d have a second stiff on the floor. “You claim the victim was still alive when you came in the room?”
“Did the victim do or say anything that might identify the murderer?”
Braxton waited, his pen poised over his notebook page. “Well? What was it?”
I licked my dry lips. I felt terribly thirsty. I knew Braxton would hate my answer.
“He said, ‘Rocky Raccoon.’”
Sure enough, he frowned at me. “Is that a joke?”
“No, sir. That’s exactly what he said.”
“Is that the name of the murderer? An animal? What’s a Rocky Raccoon?”
“It’s a song.” Bunny stepped up beside us as she closed the zipper on the pouch that hung from her waist. “By John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Paul sings lead. It’s on disc one, side two, track five of The Beatles’ 1968 double record, ‘White Album,’ which isn’t the name, but everyone calls it that because it was issued in a plain white cover with no artwork. I have a 1978 French import reissue with the records in white vinyl.”
Braxton stared at her, too stunned to take notes, but I took it in stride. Fans possess encyclopedia knowledge of the minutest trivia.
“Thanks Bunny,” I said. “Please go to your room now. Everything will be all right.”
Bunny nodded and plodded toward the elevator. By now the crowd of investigators had cleared out, leaving the hallway eerily silent. A cop shut the door to the tainted room and taped yellow “do not cross” tape across the doorway, which was guaranteed to attract more attention from the guests than simply locking the door.
“That’s enough for now.” Braxton tucked his little black book into his shirt pocket. I nearly leapt for joy at the thought he might finally leave me alone until he added, “But don’t leave town.”
“What do you mean, don’t leave town? In a few hours I’m booked on a flight back to Los Angeles.”
“Why are you in such a hurry to leave?”
“No reason, I . . .”
“All right then. Stay put.”
“What am I supposed to do in the meantime?”
He gestured at the walls around us. “This is a hotel. You’ve got a place to sleep.” With that he darted for the elevator before I could slip in a parting shot.
June17 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
June 18 – Mommasez… – Review, Guest Post
June 19 – Back Porchervations – Review
June 20 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
June 21 – Carole’s Book Corner - Review
June 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Guest Post
June 23 – readalot blog – Review
June 24 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
June 25 – deal sharing aunt – Interview, Giveaway
June 26 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post
June 27 – Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog – Spotlight
June 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
June 29 – Cicero’s Children - Interview
June 30 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review