Midwest Book Review Lauds A Killer Carnival!
So very excited! The following review of A Killer Carnival from Midwest Book review is in! And here it is…
A Killer Carnival: A Provincetown Mystery is the fourth book in the Sydney Riley series and is set in a colorful town planning for its equally colorful annual Carnival Parade. Sydney's nose for trouble is awakened when her boyfriend's police officer sister shows up and begins making inquiries.
Jeanette de Beauvoir's wry sense of humor and ability to capture immediate attention is evident from the very first sentences, which are revealing and fun: "By the time the float exploded, we were all far enough away that it was only ear-splittingly loud rather than lethal. I guess one has to be grateful for the small things in life. Like… well, life. I don’t usually spend a lot of time around objects that explode, so the experience was a new one."
Readers are immersed in the mystery of an exploding float and murder attempt that grabs reader interest even before relationships, mystery, and investigative premises are introduced. These subplots flush out the setting and circumstances that make A Killer Carnival so realistically engrossing.
Provincetown is flagrantly outrageous, and so is Sydney's course as she faces criminals, life-changing circumstances, and insights that lead her to make some realizations about her choices and progress in the world.
De Beauvoir does an outstanding job of creating suspense, capturing a vivid personality's unique narrative style, and crafting a mystery from the story's first few lines, but she doesn't leave newcomers in the lurch over Sydney's background. This is presented after the gripping opener, which makes for an irresistible addition to the story's introduction ("How is it that stories begin? “It all started when…”).
Newcomers and prior Sydney fans thus receive a tale accessible to all, powered with a compelling observational style that does more than just narrate a mystery, placing readers squarely in Provincetown's atmosphere: "P’town being P’town, a lot of the floats feature loud music and scantily clad well-oiled impossibly handsome young men dancing suggestively to a throbbing bass beat. Our float, I’d liked to think, was somewhat more subtle. Apparently not subtle enough. Or maybe I just don’t have a handle on subtlety anymore. I live in one of the least subtle places in the world, a town aggressively in your face about everything, a town with swagger to spare. I’d like to add that, technically speaking, none of this was my fault."
By now, it should be evident that readers who choose A Killer Carnival are in for a rare treat. It's an explosive (literally) combination of intrigue, suspense, and psychological insight set in an atmospheric, colorful locale that benefits from the author's personal familiarity with P-town's eccentrics and sometimes-questionable characters.
Packed with motive and heart-stopping moments and spiced by Sydney's irreverent wit and sense of humor, A Killer Carnival is mystery writing at its finest. It's especially recommended for prior readers, but is quite accessible to newcomers seeking superior stories, memorable characters, and fast-paced action.