Friday, November 23, 2012

First Chapter Review: Persephone Cole and the Christmas Killings Conundrum by Heather Haven

The first chapter of Persephone Cole and the Christmas Killings Conundrum was sent to me by author Heather Haven. This is a Books We Love holiday mystery.

BLURB: In late December, 1942, Persephone (Percy) Cole, one of Manhattan's first female PIs, has been hired to find out who killed a Santa Land elf and left the body in the storefront window of a swank 5th Avenue jewelry store. Was it the spoiled heiress whose big buck handbag was found on the scene? Or was it the rat who broke out of the big house to settle a score? Shortly after, the corpse of the Christmas Angel is discovered stuffed in Mrs. Santa's workshop. Will Santa Claus be next? With a penchant for Marlene Dietrich suits, pistachio nuts and fedora hats, this working mother finds diamonds to the left of her, diamonds to the right, and skullduggery aplenty. Armed with her noodle and a WW I German Mauser, Percy is determined to solve these crimes or it just might be the 'kiss off' for Christmas.

COVER: I absolutely love when a cover is designed that captures the essence of a book. So many of the details from the first chapter make their way onto this cover that I already feel like I know Percy and where she lives.

FIRST CHAPTER: Percy receives a phone call from the owner of Waller and Sons Jewelry. An elf has been found dead in his storefront window and he wants to know why. Though the police are already on the scene, Waller wants to talk to Percy face-to-face about hiring her, which would be great since Pop is laid up with a broken leg and Percy is the sole support of her family right now.

KEEP READING: You betcha. In this first chapter, Haven manages to create a cast of characters you immediately connect with and care about: from Percy a street-smart, sarcastic dame with a penchant for Marlene Dietrich-style pant suits and pistachios to her boy-crazy younger sister Serendipity to her daffy mother and more. I don't always like so many characters introduced right away, but Haven did a fine job of giving them just enough interaction that the reader isn't confused.

The other thing I felt the author did well was add in the right amount of detail so that the setting and time period were clear without having to read the book blurb first. I had to chuckle at the plethora of ashtrays around the house to hold pistachio shells. Why it struck me funny I don't know, but it did.

I am eager to see how this mystery plays out. I hope to make time to read this entire book soon. Haven's style of humorous private eye stories continues with this latest endeavor. And I love it!

File Size: 372 KB
Print Length: 185 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Books We Love Ltd. (October 10, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
SRP:  $3.99

I received the first chapter of this book from the author. This First Chapter Review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.


Heather Haven said...

This is just the best idea for a review spot! You should be able to tell at the end of chapter one if you're going to like a book or not, so I applaud this approach! Kudos to Cheryl Malandrinos for coming up with the idea. She's a love on top of it all!

Ann Herrick said...

What a cool idea to do a first-chapter review! Sounds like this book will be a good read!

Gail Roughton said...

Fabulous approach to reviews! And fabulous first chapter!

Heather Haven said...

Thank you, Ann, and thank you, Gail. I have to say, I've had nothing but a a good experience with Cheryl Malandrinos in the past three years. She is a professional with high standards and a love of writing. Leave it to her to come up with this idea.

Kathy Fischer-Brown said...

Ingenuous idea for reviews. The book sounds terrific (and especially timely). Best wishes to all.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. It's great that you stopped by. Glad you like the First Chapter Review idea.