“Fiction Can Be Murder” by Becky Clark, is a cozy mystery that lets outsiders in on the techniques, practices, and secret ways of writers. Readers become familiar with literary agents, book promotions, and royalty checks. Reviewers have nothing to fear because according to the book writers “should never read their reviews.”
The ins and outs of writers’ critique groups come to the forefront when a somewhat “difficult” literary agent dies in circumstances that suspiciously mirror the plot of a yet unpublished manuscript written by Charlemagne Russo. Charlee feels she is the prime suspect, so she is compelled to solve the murder before she is hauled off to jail. In a first person narrative, she wades through what she knows about the people, places, and things surrounding the murder and applies her plot writing ability to solve problems in this real life situation. Of course, she had researched the murder scenario for her book, but solving a murder in real life was considerably more difficult.
Clark’s descriptions give readers a strong colorful sense of Charlee’s Colorado home.
“The sun began setting over the mountains, tinging my world with otherworldly light in the shades of orange, pink, yellow, and blue. I watched the sky change colors behind the thin clouds as if the artist couldn’t decide on his palette.”
“Fiction Can Be Murder” opens with the murder as it could have been written in Charlee’s novel, and the action continues as she methodically checks the alibis, motives, and opportunities of everyone who has access to her unpublished manuscript. It is as a stress-free book without headache-inducing trauma, but at the same time compelling and captivating. It was quick and easy to read, and I highly recommend it to all cozy readers.