Senator Morgan Maxwell’s fiancée is dead and it’s not the first time.
It’s 1996 and Boston reporter, Ali Loukas, has her sights set on advancing from radio newscaster to TV correspondent, so when the Maxwell story practically drops into her lap, she seizes the opportunity to solve the murder, scoop her competitors, and move up the broadcasting ladder.
But gaining access to evidence and witnesses without stepping on the toes of family friend, Detective Ryan McGuire, could be tricky.
Despite a knife wedged in her front door and opposition from the police, Ali is determined to prove that she can find the answers, solve the crime and earn the dream job…if she can stay alive to make it all happen.
If you love Mary Higgins Clark Mysteries, grab this one today!
Content Notes: PG equivalent – No swearing, sex or graphic violence.
Set in the mid 1990s, this is a delightful trip into my pre-kids/marriage youth, with references to some of my favorite music and other pop culture from that time. Ali Loukas moves to Boston as a cub reporter for a radio station, her sights set on working in TV some day, following in the footsteps of her idol. When she dives into the murder of a prominent citizen, she gets to meet her idol, only to discover she’s the exact opposite of what Ali imagined. As a viscous rivalry develops between the two, Ali is determined to solve the mystery first. Her sleuthing sends her directly into the path of dreamy Detective Ryan McGuire, the son of her mother’s best friend, making things doubly complicated, and then triply so when Ali discovers Ryan might just have reciprocal feelings for her. But before long, Ali somehow asks the wrong person the wrong question, putting her directly in the crosshairs.
The primary focus is the mystery – who killed Senator Maxwell’s fiancee. But there are a couple of solid subplots involving Ali’s career and her budding romance with Detective McGuire. The mystery is well done, with several twists and a culprit, who I did suspect from time-to-time, I never really latched onto as the one. The author expertly foreshadows everything, though, so the big reveal feels inevitable. Because the story takes place more than twenty years ago, there are some fun things the author takes advantage of, including the fact that smart phones weren’t a thing and the internet was still dial-up for a lot of the population.
The characters were awesome. Ali is instantly likable as a determined reporter, who is maybe a bit naive, but tenacious enough to overcome it. Ryan is swoon-worthy as her foil and potential love interest, and the moms are the absolute best, driving some of the funniest moments in the book.
Top things I Enjoyed About PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENTS
1. Ali. She’s funny, smart, and will stop at nothing to get to the truth.
2. Ryan. He’s all about the rules. At least until he meets Ali.
3. The 1990s. Showing my age here, but the 90s were my favorite decade from the music, to movies, and TV shows. The pop cultural references were a blast from my past.
4. The Mystery. It was well done and kept me guessing.
5. Humor. A lightheartedness to the story kept it from getting too dark and had me laughing throughout.
A fun cozy mystery with a nostalgic edge and a lighthearted romance.
About the Book
Title: PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENTS
Series: Press Pass Mysteries #1
Author: April Anderton
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Category: Adult Cozy Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
About the Author
April Anderton is a designer, blogger and author of cozy and young adult mysteries, survival adventures, non-fiction how-to books and articles for blogs and magazines. She lives off-grid in the mountains of North Idaho with her husband and their homeschooled pre-teen son. She doesn’t quite understand why her grown children would rather live in cities in homes with running water, plumbing and electricity, but she loves them anyway. If you ran into April at the grocery store, chances are high that she would not be wearing makeup and may be on the edge of looking presentable. She’d still say hello..