Sunday, July 6, 2008

"Love Kills" by Edna Buchanan - A Mystery Novel Book Review

Don't you love it when you find a book you absolutely positively cannot put down? "Love Kills" by Edna Buchanan is one of those mysteries. I sat up until the wee small hours of the morning to finish reading it. I had to! I had to find out what happened in the end.
Buchanan has two series going: The Britt Montero series and the newer Cold Case Squad series. In "Love Kills," she brings the two together in alternating chapters. Britt is the unifying catalyst. In the first pages of the book, a Bulldozer in the Everglades unearths the skull of an infamous kidnapper. Britt was one of the last people to see him alive so the Cold Case Squad wants to talk to her, but she's missing.
Britt disappeared about three books ago when her lover, Kendall McDonald was killed. Turns out she was hiding on a tropical island while trying to come to terms with her loss. Her friend, newspaper photographer, Lottie Dane comes to visit and haul her back to Miami. The last day before leaving for home, the two find a camera on the beach with honeymoon photos. They're determined to track the happy couple down to return the pictures. Tragically, the couple is missing at sea and feared dead. When the husband shows up, alive and distraught, Britt's nose for news prompts her to interview him for a story. The connection between the reporter and the new widower astonishes her and Britt is even more surprised when she finds out the truth. Ultimately, her search for the bridegroom's secrets and the Cold Case Squad's search for the kidnapper's killer collide.
There are two huge twists in "Love Kills" and I didn't see either of them coming. With the second one, near the end of the book I literally had to stop reading I was so surprised. Buchanan puts her protagonist, Britt Montero in dangers and just when you think things can't get worse - but they do, again and again until the climactic end. There is also one scene in the Cold Case section that was so funny it had me howling with laughter.
Buchanan, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist has written 16 books. I've read them all, AND they're all good. She worked as a crime reporter for the Miami Herald before retiring to write full time. Her books are sharp, fast-paced and great fun to read. She brings authenticity to her writing because of her journalistic background working with the police in Miami. Buchanan's non-fiction book, "The Corpse had a Familiar Face" is fabulous.
If you're looking for a new author to read, I urge you to try Edna Buchanan. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Carlene Rae Dater has been a writer of both fiction and non-fiction for over 25 years and has been published in a variety of genres. Writing, reading and talking about mysteries is her passion. Please visit and leave comments on her mystery blog at: Please also visit her published books at:

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