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Ava Beaumont wants to divorce her unfaithful husband and hires a private detective by the name of Donovan Tanner to get the goods on the philanderer. What Tanner uncovers leads him to blackmail the beautiful Mrs. Beaumont. She then hires Carson Reno of the Drake Detective Agency to bring her the damning evidence, a simple assignment. Soon, however, the body count is mounting and with Ava locked up by the police, Carson becomes her only hope to prove her innocence.
“Murder and More” hearkens back to the slick and fast-paced pulp mysteries of the 1960’s. The characters are well-defined and complex and the story is innovative. Mr. Darnell’s prose is descriptive while still managing to keep the story line on track without padding the storyline needlessly. The dialogue of the characters could use some fine tuning, however. Carson seems to say ‘huh’ quite needlessly, especially in the beginning of the story, making it seem like the author felt obligated to have the character speak when no response was necessary. Also, the opening of the story switched between tenses a few times and left the reader unsure as to whether it was the intention of the author or an editing error. Overall, “Murder and More” is an entertaining read. With an engaging story and well thought out twists and turns, it’s a book worth reading more than once.