Tuesday 25 April 2023

A Star Is Dead (Angela Richman, Death Investigator #4) by Elaine Viets

Hollywood diva Jessica Gray is on the last leg of her one-woman show when she suffers a sudden and fatal illness . . . but Angela Richman thinks there's more to it.

"Ageless" Hollywood diva Jessica Gray is finishing the last leg of her one-woman show in St Louis, Missouri, and the nearby town of Chouteau Forest is dazzled. During the show she humiliates three homeless women onstage, fires her entourage - not for the first time - and makes a bitter enemy of the town's powerful patriarch.

After she collapses at an after-show party and is rushed to the hospital, she ignores the advice of her doctors and discharges herself in order to return to LA. On the way to the airport she suffers a deadly coughing fit. It was poison. When Angela Richman's friend, Mario, is arrested for the murder and faces the death penalty, she is compelled to investigate.

With so many grudges held against the actress and Mario's life on the line, the stakes are higher than ever.  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Angela Richman, Death Investigator Mystery series by Elaine Viets is a great series to get lost into.  Readers cannot help but fall in love with Angela Richman, her job, her friends, and the cases she handles and the ones that she inserts herself into.....and in A Star Is Dead Angela gets herself deep into a death investigation.

In the fourth book in this series A Star Is Dead Hollywood Superstar Jessica Gray is performing her one-woman show in St. Louis and Angela is invited to the show by her very talented hairdresser, Mario.  Mario is over the moon excited that he has been chosen to do Jessica's hair for the show.  Little does Angela know that Jessica is a horrible person.  But she soon learns that when Jessica parades three homeless women onto the stage and treats them poorly.  

Angela wants nothing to do with the "superstar" but Mario talks her into going with him to the after party at the home of Reggie Du Pres, the center of the exclusive neighborhood called the Forest.  While at the party Jessica becomes ill and is rushed to the hospital.  At the hospital she is surrounded by Mario and three of Jessica's assistants.  Jessica signs herself out of the hospital because she cannot wait to get out of the hick town but on the way to the airport she becomes very sick and they turn the limo around and take her back to the hospital.  Unfortunately Jessica is pronounced dead and it is being ruled murder.  Luckily Mario had called Angela and the entire episode was recorded on Angela's phone.  But her phone was dropped and she wasn't able to recover the video ..... and Angela's least favorite detective is on the case and arrests Mario for Jessica's murder.

Angela knows that Mario did not kill Jessica and decides to look into the murder.  Unfortunately it turns out that none of Jessica's assistants liked her very much and it seems they all have reasons to want her out of their lives.....but were they willing to murder her ??

Readers cannot help but love this series.  To follow around Angela and see her at her job, a death investigator is very interesting and provides great entertainment.  And it seems there are always deaths to investigate in the Forest.  Readers will love, and hate, the characters in these stories and you will want to grab the next book as soon as you finish the current one you are reading.

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