Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING by Dana Dratch will be published May 29, 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corporation. It is the first in the Red Herring Mystery series.
After a lengthy career as a newspaper reporter, Alex Vlodnachek decides to switch occupations and become a public relations rep for one of the largest and most respected firms in the greater D.C. area. It only takes about three months for Alex to realize that she made a huge mistake by going to work for Coleman and Walters. After the CEO, Mr. Coleman, tries to essentially pimp Alex out to a client, she understandably causes a scene in front of numerous coworkers. Two days later, Coleman is dead and Alex is at the top of the suspect list. Alex knows that she is innocent, and the police prove that she is innocent. But it seems like everyone at Coleman and Walters has made up their minds about her guilt, as had an old nemesis in the newspaper world. What doesn’t help is that not only is Alex being framed for the murder, someone is impersonating her and trying to ruin her life. If Alex wants to prove that she truly is innocent, she’s going to have to find the killer.
What I really enjoyed about Alex and her amateur investigation is that she wasn’t afraid to go undercover to get information. Not only does Alex get a job working as a waitress at the deceased man’s catered funeral reception, she also joins the cleaning service that cleans up the offices at Coleman and Walters. Between the two undercover jobs, Alex is able to eavesdrop on multiple interesting conversations and dig up some incriminating paperwork. Alex also seeks out other people who have been wronged by Coleman and Walters. And she involves her old friends from the newspaper world in her investigation – they provide her with information and she turns over incriminating documents to them. I also enjoyed some of the secondary characters in this novel – Alex’s family is quirky, and her best friend, Trip, is such a fun character.
While I found CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING to be a compelling mystery, there were times that I felt myself losing interest because the story seemed to drag out. It’s not like there are sections of the novel where nothing is happening – trust me, something is always happening – but maybe there was just too much going. Too many plots and subplots. Another thing that bothered me is that the novel opens with Alex getting picked up by the police to be questioned about her boss’s homicide but there is no scene of her actually getting questioned. To me, this seems like a fairly crucial scene to include – especially since there is very little interaction with the police after this.