As a real estate agent to the stars, Nikki Harper was reluctantly attending a typical Hollywood party at the home of socialite Edith March. Nikki and her partner Jessica Martin had recently sold the home after the death of Edithís husband, 1950ís actor Rex March. He had died as a result of a fiery plane crash in the California desert six months ago. Unfortunately his body was never recovered.
His widow was holding one last glamorous party in the mansion she never liked, before she moved on with her new, young suitor.
Later, Nikki received a distress call from Jessica asking her to come to her apartment. She had returned home from a seminar to find an unexpected man in her bed - the body of the alleged deceased actor, her former lover, and police were blaming Jessica for his death.
When Nikki saw that the police were serious about accusing Jessica of the murder, she began to investigate Rexís death on her own. She was the daughter of movie legend Victoria Bordeaux which provided her with a certain amount of access to the inner circles that made up Hollywood. She didnít hesitate to drop her motherís famous name to get what she wanted. What Nikki found out was that any number of people had a reason to want Rex dead twice in six months.
The Dead Always Die Twice was written by Cheryl Crane as the first novel in a new mystery series set in Hollywood. Following the old adage to write what you know, Cheryl, daughter of legendary movie actress Lana Turner and actor-restaurateur Josef Stephen Crane filled her debut novel with names and descriptive characters as only a Hollywood insider could.
Crane has introduced a saucy and smart amateur sleuth who obviously knows her way around Tinsel Town. After all, Nikkiís mother was also a legendary Hollywood figure. Readers will likely enjoy the repartee between Nikki and her mother, Victoria Bordeaux, as well as the sometimes strained relationship between the two. The women are strong yet believable even when struggling with their weaker moments.
Crane displays a surprising sense of humor throughout the novel even in the midst of the murder investigation, and there are genuine laugh-out-loud moments. However, the author saves the best surprise until the last with an ending few readers will see coming.
New fans of Cheryl Crane will undoubtedly appreciate the author is working on her next Nikki Harper mystery.
A special thank you goes to Kensington Books for providing a complimentary copy of The Bad Always Die Twice for our review. If you wish to purchase your own copy, the book is available at Amazon.com.