I thoroughly enjoyed the previous book in this cosy murder mystery series, Making It Write – see my review. So when this one became available, I snapped it up.
BLURB: When writer for hire Veronica Blackstone is asked to write the copy for The Friends of Hyde Park’s annual house and garden tour, she never expects to get involved in a violent death. But that’s exactly what happens when famous author Landon Donte is found dead in his study during a dinner to highlight the tour. With his career on the wane, and apparently having deleted his last manuscript, it looks as though Landon committed suicide. But Veronica isn’t so sure…
It’s true that Landon had many enemies: his rival and neighbor, bestselling romance author RL Lincoln; his put-upon assistant, Brad; even his own daughter! But are any of them capable of murder? Veronica is determined to uncover the truth.
REVIEW: I’d enjoyed the previous book in this series, so was pleased when I saw this one was available. But if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading of the previous offerings, don’t let that put you off. There are some series where crashing midway means you’re floundering – this isn’t one of them.
Veronica is a writer for hire, whose first book has had some modest success and she’s trying to finish her second novel – but is suffering a bit from writer’s block. Fortunately, she’s an adaptable soul, who also undertakes other writing gigs. Indeed, the unfolding adventure whereby she assists a go-getting career woman in finding a suitably attractive and rich husband by writing love letters on her behalf is a really enjoyable plot thread.
Hechtman doesn’t put her foot to the floor with the pacing, so the murder is uncovered by a steady build-up of clues as Veronica gets on with her life. So to really get the best out of this whodunit, it’s necessary to enjoy Veronica’s character and become suitably engrossed in the details of her daily routine. The author’s smooth writing style and strong characterisation meant I found this an easy, enjoyable read, as Veronica discovers the ongoing tensions between those neighbours willing to open up their homes and gardens.
If I do have a niggle, is that her relationship with Sam is plain irritating. Either they have a thing, or they don’t. And they’re now of an age that they both should know one way or another – so all the will they/won’t they business that went on seemed rather forced, given their maturity.
However, it isn’t a dealbreaker – and I’d be very happy to read another book in this entertaining series. While I obtained an arc of Sentenced to Death from the publishers via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.