Grace in Hollywood by Kari Bovee
Series: Grace Michelle #2
Genres: Historical Mystery
All that glitters… is sometimes blood. With her golden ticket buried in the ground, can she save a wrongly accused teen from the gallows?
Hollywood, 1924. Promoted to lead costume designer of a star-studded film, Grace Michelle should be on top of the world. But between her husband’s debt, her sister’s recent death, and the troubled teenaged girl she’s fostering, she’s struggling to please everyone and still keep a smile on her face. And when a Tinseltown shindig turns deadly, Grace is horrified to discover her young charge unconscious alongside the director’s grisly corpse.
Determined to prove the girl’s innocence, Grace’s own haunted past fills her sleep with prophetic nightmares. And no sooner has she sought clarity from a medium than a second body lands the scared teenager in the slammer.
Can Grace turn the camera on the real culprit before another victim ends up on the cutting room floor?
Grace in Hollywood is the second book in the riveting A Grace Michelle Mystery historical series. If you like fiercely loyal heroines, thrilling whodunits, and the magic of old cinema, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s enthralling tale.
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I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.
As I said earlier I have not yet read the first book in this series so I can’t comment on how this one compares. What I can say is that I enjoyed this book so much! Reading this was like watching one of my favorite British mysteries. Trust me that is saying a lot coming from me because I adore those.
Grace is a costume designer for silent movies (which I found interesting), a wife, a daughter-in-law, a foster parent, a friend, a survivor of living on the streets, a grieving sister and daughter. she is more of a modern woman considering the time period this takes place but it works. Her plate is full but she is still determined to figure out who killed Travis.
There are plenty of characters to choose from when it comes to suspects and I enjoyed that we met so many different people. It muddied the waters nicely in my opinion Honestly if you like a good mystery then this is certainly the book for you.
A ghost from her past. Her sister murdered. Can Grace slay her demons and find the killer before she ends up dead?
New York City, 1920. Grace Michelle has everything she wants: a home, a family, and a future career as a costume designer for famed showman Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.’s Ziegfeld Follies. Pretty good for a girl who once lived on the streets of New York City. But when her sister, Sophia, the star of the show, is murdered, Grace’s safe and protected life is shattered.
Battle-scarred by the war and emotionally scarred by his past, Chet Riker has made it a practice to keep his distance from others; love, after all, leads only to pain. But Chet has a problem—a big one: he’s become indebted to mob-boss Joe Marciano in an attempt to save his estranged mother’s life, and Marciano wants him to pay up or else. Desperate to get the money, he contacts former client Florenz Ziegfeld for work.
Soon, Chet finds himself playing bodyguard for introverted Grace, who has reluctantly agreed to be Ziegfeld’s new leading lady—on the condition that Ziegfeld promises to find Sophia’s killer. Upon meeting Grace, Chet quickly finds his hardened theory that love equals pain tested. Grace, meanwhile, is swept up in a life she never wanted as the Follies’ star, and as the pawn in a series of publicity stunts during a transcontinental train trip to California that puts her life at risk. Who would want her and Sophia dead? Together, she and Chet must confront publicity-hungry Florenz Ziegfeld, power-driven Joe Marciano, and their own pasts to find Sophia’s killer—and let themselves love once again.
Now I have a treat for you. Author, Kari Bovee, answers a few questions for us. Take a look below.
1. Please tell us how you came to be a writer.
I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. When I was seven years old I got a toy typewriter for Christmas. Although it was a toy, it still worked and I banged away on it for as long as it held up. Then in middle school and high school I started journaling and writing poetry. I majored in English Lit in college, so there was a lot of writing involved with my major. I finished as much of my required coursework early so I could focus on writing exclusively my senior year. I took three independent studies with three of my favorite professors. One was in short story writing, one in playwriting, and one in screenwriting.
I wrote my first novel right out of college, but it was sort of an experiment and that book will never see the light of day! After my first child was born I started my second and third novels – real attempts this time. The third novel got me my first agent. We worked together for a couple of years getting it just right, but then he left the agency. I was heart-broken. The agency assigned me to someone else, but she just didn’t have the passion for my work as the first agent. The book didn’t sell, and I became a very busy mommy. I put my novel writing on hold for about a decade and a half, and started back up when our youngest was a junior in high school. I’ve been working on novels ever since. I can’t imagine not writing now.
2) What is your favorite non-reading activity?
Horses have been a part of my life since I was about ten years old. I feel such a connection with them. Aside from college and my early married life, I’ve always had at least one horse, and I’ve had up to seven at one time. Right now, I have four, and they have a forever home with me. One of them is completely retired, and she is just a pasture ornament, but I ride the other three. I used to compete, but now I just enjoy riding and being around them. I’ve been practicing Natural Horsemanship for the last decade, and I keep learning that I have so much more to learn! It’s very similar to writing in that way.
3) Do you believe you write the kind of book you’d want to read?
Absolutely. I believe that if a writer is not completely invested and interested in what they are writing, no one else will be. Writing a novel is hard enough! If there wasn’t enjoyment in the challenge and process, I don’t think it would be worth doing, at least for me.
4) What is the best compliment a reader has ever given you?
My favorite compliments go something like this: “I loved your book so much. It was so interesting! I had no idea that (fill in the blank) happened, or that (character from real life) did that, so I had to go look it up myself and find out more about it, or her, or him.”
I love when I have inspired someone to dig deeper, educate themselves more, or to unlock an area of interest for the reader that they never knew they had. It’s like I’ve created an instant connection with that person and we have something in common. It’s that feeling of being in conversation with someone and you both keep saying, “I know! Right?” It’s so fun.
5) As an author – what do you enjoy most about writing process? What feels like a chore?
It’s really fun for me to create a world and characters from my imagination. When I taught middle school I used to tell my students that when you write, you can be or do anything you want. It’s really so liberating. I also enjoy when I get into the zone and the words just tumble out. Characters will do and say things I never expected and then I find myself saying, “How interesting! Now, what am I going to do with that?”
It’s always fun and always a challenge. The chore part, if you could call it that, is all of the publicity, promotion, and marketing that come along with the author’s life. That part alone could be a full-time job in itself, and it takes me away from what I really love which is living inside my stories. However, it is a necessity and it can be fun in its own way. It gives me the opportunity to interact with readers and get to know people I never would have known if I wasn’t an author. So there’s definitely an upside to being a business person as well as an author.
Enter to win one signed copy each of Grace in the Wings and Grace in Hollywood, a completed and framed (8.5 x 11) diamond painting of a flapper, an art deco mousepad, a small art deco notepad and pen, an art deco tote bag, and an Amazon gift card for $50! (one winner) (USA only) (ends Jul 26)
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