When indie author Diane Majeske asked me to read her mystery novel, Death on Deadline, I let her know that I would only review it if I enjoyed it. She assured me that I would, so I gave it a try. Well Diane, you were right. I really enjoyed it!
Writing experts always say to write about what you know and that is what Diane Majeske has done. She was a newspaper reporter and that experience lends a great deal of authenticity to both the newsroom and its personalities in Death on Deadline. I spent some time around small and medium-sized newspaper offices in my 20’s and was really pleased by how well she captured that world.
When America Miles was a small child, she thought America the Beautiful was a song written especially for her. I immediately liked our heroine for her snarky sense of humor and bright intelligent personality. America works as the metro (city beat) news reporter for The Daily Examiner in the small town of Hyacinth, Missouri, covering exciting news like city council meetings. Hyacinth is one of those small Midwestern towns where nothing ever happens and its citizens like it that way.
“Honestly, that council couldn’t agree on pizza toppings, much less decide who would handle recycling for the city. Of course, I’m merely a reporter. I just write it, you judge it.”
Among America’s fellow reporters are Sandy Betts, the shy food editor and America’s best friend; Wayne Grubbs, oh he of dubious personal hygiene; Jeff Durks, the night editor; Jess Baker, the paper’s photographer; Dan Evans, the amazingly calm city editor; Monica, a haughty metro reporter; John Brody, the handsome police reporter; Topper, the sports editor; and Harrison Fielding, the editor (in chief) and the obnoxious man everyone at the newspaper hates. Oh and then there’s Dano, America’s cute source in the police department.
“In fact, [Harrison] he made it quite clear that while we were the workhorses, he was holding the whip. It was, quite frankly, his way or the highway.”
One morning, the crew hears crashing and thumping coming from Harrison’s office. When they get the courage to open the door, he is found dead on the floor, with a brownie Sandy had just baked for a photo shoot in his outstretched hand. While Sandy is busy telling everyone who will listen that she didn’t do it, America decides to put her investigative reporting skills to some real use for a change and find out who did kill him, to clear Sandy’s name if nothing else. If Harrison were the only one, you could kind of understand it because the man was a total asshat. Unfortunately, someone seems to be on a newspaper staff killing spree. And America is determined to discover who the murderer is, no matter the danger.
I completely enjoyed every minute of Death on Deadline. The characters were the kind of real characters I remember working on newspapers and I didn’t want any of them to be the killer. Equally important for me was that I couldn’t figure out who the killer was. I was constantly being pulled in different directions. Surely someone as sweet as Sandy couldn’t be the killer but I wasn’t sure whether that was true of her and/or other characters I’d grown to really like, right up until the end. This novel has lots of twists and turns, and is a lot of fun to read! I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
Death on Deadline is a fun whodunit that would be worth buying at several times the price. It’s only available as an e-book but for the bargain price of only 99 cents. If you’d like to buy it, you can link to B&N in the upper right corner or click here to download it for any kind of e-reader, including Kindles.
If you’ve read Death on Deadline, or anything by Diane Majeske, we’d love to get your comments. We’d also love to hear your comments about this review.
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