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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Busy Body

Narrator: Eva Kaminsky

ISBN: 9798891784086

Publisher: RB Media, Recorded Books

A John Scognamiglio Book

Publication Date: 01/23/2024

Format: Audio

My Rating: 3 Stars (ARC/ALC)


Veep meets Agatha Christie in this intelligent, wildly funny, literary mystery for fans of Richard Osman, Anthony Horowitz, and Nita Prose!


The host of the "All About Agatha" podcast injects the spark and fizz of a Golden Age murder mystery into the present-day, as a ghostwriter is chosen to collaborate on a presidential candidate’s memoir, only to discover just how much trouble a smart woman with time on her hands can get up to . . .


"A delight from start to finish. If you like Agatha Christie, you’ll love this.” - Alex Michaelides, # 1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient


“I tell other people’s stories for a living. . . . I nip and tuck their excesses, soften their hard edges, polish whatever an armada of editors and publicists deem unsightly till it sparkles.”


It’s a dream assignment. Former Senator Dorothy Gibson, aka that woman, is the most talked-about person in the country right now, though largely for the wrong reasons. As an independent candidate for President of the United States, Dorothy split the vote and is being blamed for the shocking result. After her very public defeat, she’s retreated to her home in rural Maine, inviting her ghostwriter to join her.


Her collaborator is impressed by Dorothy’s work ethic and steel-trap mind, not to mention the stunning surroundings (and one particularly gorgeous bodyguard). But when a neighbor dies under suspicious circumstances, Dorothy is determined to find the killer in their midst. And when Dorothy Gibson asks if you want to team up for a top secret, possibly dangerous murder investigation, the only answer is: “Of course!”


The best ghostwriters are adept at asking questions and spinning stories . . . two talents, it turns out, that also come in handy for sleuths. Dorothy’s political career, meanwhile, has made her an expert at recognizing lies and double-dealing. Working together, the two women are soon untangling motives and whittling down suspects, to the exasperation of local police. But this investigation—much like the election—may not unfold the way anyone expects . . .


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My Review


Podcaster (All About Agatha) Kemper Donovan's THE BUSY BODY features a former senator and a no-name ghostwriter as they team up to solve a cozy murder mystery whodunit with a twisty mix of Dorothy Parker and Agatha Christie contemporary classic.


Set in a small town in Maine, the narrator is a ghostwriter (GW) and teams up with a former Senator, Dorothy Gibson (Hillary Clinton), who lost the Presidential election, to write her memoir.

She moves in, and shortly thereafter, when they go to a wine store, they run into a neighbor, Vivian, and a selfie is snapped.


The next day, the woman is dead in the bath (by suicide), or so it appears. The duo starts their sleuthing and investigation to solve the crime mystery.


We do not get any backstory of the nameless narrator, leaving readers in the dark, so you feel removed and distant from this character.


While THE BUSY BODY will appeal to a certain audience, it was not for me. I prefer less dialogue and more action and did not care for conversational style with the asides and the romance part.

I am not a big fan of cozy mysteries and would not be interested in the series. I will pass on this one—not worthy of the hype, in my opinion.


FORMATTING: I will have to concur with some of the other reviewers on the topic of the digital ARC provided. It had very bad formatting, making it very challenging to read, and I found this very distracting and unenjoyable. There were NO chapter breaks, words strung together, sentences ending in the middle of the page with large spaces after, and continued on the next line with no double-spaced paragraph breaks.


AUDIOBOOK: I attempted to switch to the audiobook, and the narrator was so boring I had to stop as it ground on my nerves. It was like some robotic voice reading line after in the same tone with no emotion narrated by Eva Kaminsky.


Thanks to Kensington Books (John Scognamiglio Book) and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.



@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Jan 23, 2024

My Rating: 3 Stars






Praise


A Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books Selection


“Given Kemper’s knowledge and admiration of Agatha Christie—he cohosts the podcast All About Agatha—it isn’t surprising that he displays a similar flair for clever cluing and crafty characterization, not to mention the ability to throw in a killer plot twist at the end that would make Dame Agatha proud. Fans of David Handler’s equally entertaining Stewart Hoag series or those in search of a modern take on classic crime fiction will snap up this stellar mystery debut, which delivers an addictive mix of Dorothy Parker’s waspish wit and Agatha Christie’s deft hand at ingenious plotting.”

—Library Journal starred review


“Lively, clever storytelling with outsize energy.”

—Kirkus Reviews


"Kemper Donovan’s voice is original, captivating, and assured."

—Taylor Jenkins Reid, bestselling author of Daisy Jones & the Six


"Kemper Donovan has created a hugely entertaining character, a ghost writer and amateur sleuth, who is wry, gossipy and completely compelling. The investigation into a murder disguised as a suicide is full of twists and turns worthy of a classic mystery novel."

—Alex Michaelides, New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient


"A gripping and highly entertaining mystery, with ingenuity and flair aplenty, and a wonderful detective character that readers will be dying to meet again."

—Sophie Hannah, New York Times bestselling author


"The Busy Body is a thoroughly modern, Agatha-Christie-esque mystery set in a sumptuous corner of moneyed, Maine wilderness. It's a delightfully escapist, page-turner."

—Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Friends Like These












About the Author



I’ve lived in Los Angeles for most of my adult life. Starting out, I worked at a wonderful company called Circle of Confusion (no, really) representing film/television screenwriters and comic books. My very first client wrote the screenplay for the feature film Hanna, released by Focus Features in 2011. (If you haven’t seen it, watch it; you won’t be sorry.) Before that I went to college at Stanford University (with apologies to the Bay Area, I am definitely more of a SoCal person), and law school at Harvard. Technically, I am a retired lawyer, which means I passed the New York Bar and then immediately switched my status to “retired” to avoid fees and continuing education requirements….


I began writing my first novel, The Decent Proposal, when I was still a manager. After an extremely long gestational period and an even longer process acquiring representation and then selling the book for publication, I turned to writing full-time. Around the same time, I also began a side project with my dear friend, Catherine Brobeck. Together we created the podcast All About Agatha, devoted to the one and only Agatha Christie. Tragically, Catherine passed away at the end of 2021, and I have continued on with the podcast solo. It was my work on All About Agatha that inspired me to write my own mystery series, which is currently being published by Kensington Books.


I am married, and my husband and I have two daughters who keep us extremely busy. When I’m not with them, or chattering into a microphone, or staring at a laptop with my head in my hands, I enjoy doing things that have a more obvious/tangible/short-term payoff such as running and attempting to play the violin (emphasis on the attempt). WEBSITE

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