Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book Review: How to Get a Literary Agent in Two Murders or Less

By Cindy Roesel
HOW TO GET A LITERARY AGENT IN TWO MURDERS OR LESS by first time author, Ellie Burmeister has a lot going for it before the reader even turns to page one. It has a catchy title (especially for would-be writers who have ever tried to get an agent and have been rejected) and then readers will delve in to find a mystery full of twists and turns.

Amanda Anderson hasn’t had an easy life. She works at the make-up counter of an Ohio department store and sees writing a great novel as her way to success and fame. She wants to be a published author, so she heads out to a writer’s conference in glamorous Malibu, California to find herself an agent. What she ends up getting instead is a husband in best-selling novelist, Jonny Goodsnuff, a famous aging writer who wants to live happily-ever-after with Amanda, but ends up making her life a living hell. Even though Jonny sells millions of books and throws money at her like candy, you have to wonder why she marries this guy, without knowing anything substantial about him and seeing that he treats her poorly.

Jonny and Amanda move into his Ocean front mansion, so he can finish the book he is writing. Jonny tells Amanda not to speak to their neighbor, Lance, so of course, she does and soon after Jonny is murdered. Now the story takes off, but the problem is the readers are already about half-way into the novel. That is, if you’ve hung around that long! To get to this point, you’ve had to read a lot of back-story which mostly ends up meaning nothing. But you do meet a lot of rich colorful characters, along the way. Some of whom are lot of fun like Amanda’s step-daughters, Misty and Lulu, whom I wish stuck around, and Ivy and Zachary who are beyond loyal friends to Amanda. But center stage is Stonewall, who starts as Jonny’s agent and ends up playing a significant role in the story.

Ellie Burmeister knows how to plot a novel and HOW TO GET A LITERARY AGENT IN TWO MURDERS OR LESS has several story lines running throughout. But there are times when the clues don’t add up, such in the case of the microfiche and the hidden camera.

But in the end, I really did fall in love with Stonewall.

As we neared the parking lot, I could see his car glistening like a flawless ruby in the moonlight.
I looked up at Stonewall. “Can I drive?”
I meant it as a joke, but he pulled his arm away from mine.
Then he reached into his pocket and dropped his keys into my hand.

I mean really, any guy who is going to let me drive his bazillion dollar sports car after a shoot out in a cemetery is pretty cool in my book! You can find Ellie Burmeister on Facebook.

HOW TO GET A LITERARY AGENT IN TWO MURDERS OR LESS is currently available for 99 cents in Kindle format, if you would like to check it out. And Ellie will be visiting Chick Lit Central soon to talk about Halloween!


Dee DeTarsio said...

Great title! Thanks for the review!

Anne R. Allen said...

This sounds hilarious. I'm going to put it on my must-read list!