The entire title of this novel by Tami Kidd appears on the Amazon page as Deadly Discovery: Hold your breath in this gripping thriller you won’t be able to put down, thus making a claim for the novel with its shorter title, Deadly Discovery. The novel sells for USD 2.99, it is available on Kindle Unlimited as a free read, and for some reason, I paid USD 0.99 for the download. In fact, I wanted to put the novel down several times. If I had paid USD 2.99, I would have sought a refund. I have not seen many novels that start as strong as this one and then self-destruct because of a mix-and-match plot construction from storyboards of trite, overused, pandering expressions.
Deadly Discovery has twenty-three chapters and 151 pages. Chapter One gives us background information about Mara and Thomas. Their life should appear idyllic for Mara, an award-winning author of a series, The Alex Strange Mysteries. Mara had seven successful novels, and the eighth novel was in the beginning stage. This fact is a critical element to remember; it contributes much to the story’s silliness. Mara should be pleased as Thomas seems to do nothing but solve Sudoku problems. I saw issues when I encountered this “Sometimes they never spoke. They didn’t have to. Neither found any reason to fill the space between them with words, the space filled with love.” (location 58). “Mara lived vicariously through her heroine. Alex, a woman of beauty, strength, and courage, never backed down without a fight. She refused to quit until the job was done.” (location 64). Mara needed something to spice up a bland marriage. Thomas went to work. We are not sure where he worked, and it is not essential. She spent her time writing. In her non-writing time, she stared into the eyes of Thomas, something which pleased him immensely. In Chapter One, Thomas died. That is why his work of absorbing soulful looks is unimportant.
Seven months and four chapters later, after much soul-searching about the meaning of life and how it could continue without a husband she never talked to, Mara begins house cleaning and boxing up the stuff of memories. A serendipitous event occurs when a nosy neighbor stops by and notices that a key on a nearby table is a safe deposit box key, something Mara, the mystery novelist, would never have imagined. After a lengthy presentation on how to open a safe deposit box, Mara succeeds and finds a letter. A surface reading indicates a substantial, intimate relationship between husband Thomas and a mystery woman. The letter provides the inciting moment. It was time for the excitement of the chase to kick in. It doesn’t.
Despite the vicarious experiences of Mara, she knows she needs help to solve this mystery. Remember, at the same time, she is writing novel number eight. She has deadlines to meet. A private investigator could help a lot. Mara finds the perfect advertisement. The investigator is none other than Alex Strange, which happens to be the same name as the protagonist hero of her novels. The two will travel the country in cars and planes in search of the elusive woman who had written the mysterious letter to Thomas. During their travels, they will have coffee. Lots of coffee. Every time some action happens, it is followed by coffee. The British, with their fondness for tea, compares well with this couple.
Alex is, of course, every woman’s perfect physical specimen, if they were interested in that type of thing. He had delightful dimples and was unfailingly polite and considerate towards Mara in all things. Alex was not Mickey Spillane. There is no vulgar language and no sexual situations in this book. It is safe for work and may be as dull as your job.
At some point, Mara will be kidnapped by mysterious forces. The overly handsome Alex will NOT rescue her. There are a few surprises in the novel after all. At some point, Alex will relate to Mara the childhood loss of his mother. Mara will feel immense grief that will eclipse the feelings described at the loss of her husband.
Mara was initially worried at the cost of using a private investigator. Alex tells her not to worry about it. Mara is well off from sales of her book, insurance proceeds from her husband’s death, proceeds from the sale of the house she and Thomas had lived in, and movie rights to some novels. That last item, the movie rights, was casually mentioned to Mara as she was traveling with Alex on a fact-finding mission. I find heroes that never worry about money fascinating.
Mara writes novels about mysteries. Alex solves mysteries. Neither of the two considers police or intelligence agency involvement in their investigation. Realism has left the room.
There is no categorization of romance at the Amazon site for this novel. I would not have read it if there was such a tag. This novel is the reason I don’t read books in the romance genre. The correct tags are romance, unrealistic romance, and fantasy. There are excellent novels written in the romance genre. I find it difficult to find them, and this was not one. I was especially offended by the politically correct nod to the LBGT community.
There should be a less than a one-star rating, but there isn’t. So, my rating is one Amazon star and not recommended.