Some Like ‘Em Dead is a clever Hollywood themed cozy mystery set during the filming of Some Like It Hot, one of the greatest comedies of all times, featuring stars like Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon.
Joe Bernarni is a failed writer and successful publicist. He is, in fact, a jack of all trades; an expert at dealing with situations that need dealing with before things become unmanageable. He has just married his sweetheart Bunny, an Assistant Editor at the Valley News newspaper, who has been evading his proposal for the last 10 years.
The honeymoon is over before it began, because both are career people, and career doesn’t wait for anyone.
At first I was not sure that there would be a murder at all. The story started out at a slower pace, focusing on fleshing out the main characters and setting the stage for whatever was to come.
At around 35% (based on my Kindle app), the murder finally happened. As luck would have it, the detective assigned to the case was one of the most incompetent persons alive. He was running for mayor, so the case had to be solved asap. In his mind anyone would do for the perp – better yet, let’s not even look beyond the first suspect, even if he’s currently lying in a coma in a hospital bed. No worries, he’ll be sent to the gallows just as soon as he wakes up.
Joe and of his friends soon realized that if they ever hoped to have the movie finished before they all grew old, they had to find the killer on their own.
When Bunny and Joe’s friend got hit by a car from behind during their drive home from an AA meeting, giving Bunny several bruises and a concussion, Joe knew that finding the killer became a top priority before someone else got hurt.
From some tiny clue the author left in the book, I figured out the killer pretty early on. I had no idea how it would all come together, because in my mind that person least fit the profile of a killer. I couldn’t see a relationship between my suspect and the victim, but when all loose ends were tied up, it finally all made sense. It was sad and in a way I could empathize with the killer, but alas, we are not living in an eye for an eye society.
Let me tell you though, the red herrings were plenty and there were many reasons to suspect every person around. Heck I even suspected one of Joe’s friends at some point 🙁 I was quite engaged with the story and I remained curious throughout, wanting to see how it would all unfold at the end.
Some Like ‘Em Dead is a fun book to read and I will most likely also check out other books by this author. Peter S. Fischer knows his craft all too well. He not only co-authored episodes of Murder, She Wrote, but also contributed to one of my favorite TV series ever: Columbo!