High Heels and Holidays
Review: High Heels and Holidays is the fifth mystery in this series by Kasey Michaels to feature mystery author Maggie Kelly and her fictional, but now real, Regency-era hero, the aristocrat-detective Alexandre Blake, the Viscount Saint Just.
This disappointing entry in the series takes place immediately after the gang returns from England, the site of the previous book, the delightful and entertaining High Heels and Homicide. A colleague, Francis Oakes, has died under mysterious circumstances, and though Maggie would rather be preparing for the holidays and sharing an intimate moment with her fictional-but-real creation, she is drawn into the mystery when another celebrity author is found dead.
This series has a unique twist to it, and Michaels uses a prologue in the form of a letter from Maggie to "Fred" to describe just how the the character of Alexandre Blake came to be. But readers new to the series are likely to be confused by the whole premise, and are better served to read one of the previous books to appreciate the situation in which Maggie finds herself with Saint Just.
There's an astonishing amount of dialog in High Heels and Holidays, but very little of substance is ever said. At one point Saint Just notes, facetiously but accurately, "... you fascinate us with this story, although you've said very little so far, haven't you?" And Maggie herself says that "... if anyone sane ever eavesdropped on any of our conversations, we'd all be locked up."
It's probably not giving away too much to say that Maggie and Alex get romantically involved in this book, and that is frequently a problem for a romantic mystery series. And a serious problem in this one. Maggie, for all practical purposes, admits as much in another letter to "Fred" in the epilogue. "So I give him this independent woman, see. They battle—right off the bat. Two strong personalities, going at it … but slowly, against their will, they're drawn to each other. Big-time. Physically. They keep dancing around each other; advancing, retreating, keeping the readers happy. And all the while she helps him solve crimes. It could work."
If the series is drawing to a close, this might be a way to end it. But if Michaels intends to continue the adventures of Maggie and Saint Just, a rapid retreat to their pre-Holiday relationship is definitely in order.
Acknowledgment: Book Trends provided an ARC of High Heels and Holidays for this review.
Review Copyright © 2006 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
High Heels and Homicide
Kensington Books (Trade Paperback), December 2005
ISBN-13: 9780758208804; ISBN-10: 0758208804
Kensington Books (Trade Paperback), November 2007
ISBN-13: 9780758208842; ISBN-10: 0758208847
Location(s) referenced in High Heels and Holidays: New York City
— ♦ —
High Heels and Holidays by Kasey Michaels — A Maggie Kelly Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: October 2006
List Price: $14.00
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites