By MaryAnn Kempher
Booktrope, $2.99, 248 pages
What if you met the man of your dreams and he was dressed in drag? Okay maybe, if you’re into that sort of thing. What if he was also evasive and you noticed that his hedges involved other men? Not for you? What if that mystery was wrapped around someone trying to kill you? If you think you can predict the good guy, the bad guy or the real drag queen, take a swing at bat. In Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder, author MaryAnn Kempher weaves the elements of a strange murder into her main characters’ complicated post divorce love life. The story is an interesting blend of romance, death and those crazy dates you go on without a clue to their purpose.
“I saw you turn yourself into a contortionist to get that cookie you dropped. I thought, finally a woman who loves food as much as I do, and she can bend her limbs into unnatural positions.”
Katherine O’Brian finds herself single again and enrolled in her last college class before graduation when she witnesses a stranger moving a dead body. She is chased by the man and finally escapes and reports the incident to the police. Before they make any apparent headway into the investigation, someone stalks Katherine and tries to kill her. Then her obnoxiously selfish sister visits to help pack up their parents’ belongings following the death of their father. As if things couldn’t get any more complicated, Katherine is working diligently on a class project with a handsome fellow student when she runs into an old friend who wants to date her.
While the plot is exciting, the characters complex and the setting compelling, the text lacks an attention to detail that large publishing houses insist on before going to print. If you aren’t a writer, editor or English teacher, you will enjoy this remarkably conceived plot.
Reviewed by Sheli Ellsworth