Release Day – Community Affairs!

It’s finally here! It’s release day for Community Affairs!

Community Affairs

Book 3 in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series.

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Community Affairs front cover

It’s neighbor vs. neighbor in this cozy mystery!  And it’s told from Bonnie’s point of view. While it is book 3 in the series, it stands on its own, with a totally different plot.  You definitely don’t have to read the other books in the series to know what’s going on.

Book Description:

A tale of kidnapping, murder, and neighbors you’d like to kidnap and murder…

Bonnie Fattori is a sexy, sassy, Italian Princess living in New Jersey. She’s loving life with a rich husband, beachfront living, and a promotion at work—until a new neighbor, Lyla Spratt, is determined to destroy her happiness.

After several run-ins with the unstable woman next door, Bonnie starts to suspect a connection between her new neighbor and the untimely death of a local resident, Polly Pitcher. She recruits her good friend Chelsey to help figure out if her suspicions are correct.

As the neighbors go head-to-head in a hilarious battle, Lyla is pushed to the brink of insanity. The more unhinged Lyla becomes, the more Bonnie’s life and the safety of her family are at risk. Can Bonnie find out what really happened to Polly Pitcher before it’s too late? A perfect read for those who like laugh-out-loud humor in their mysteries!

Reviews:

Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite says:  Community Affairs (Jersey Shore Mystery Series Book 3) by Michele Lynn Seigfried has all the elements for mystery, sleuthing and comedy written in one good story. Bonnie lives on the Jersey shore with her husband and two daughters. Bonnie has a good life until Senator and Lyla Spratt move in next door. Bonnie and Lyla instantly don’t like each other. Lyla does everything she can to make Bonnie’s life miserable, and succeeds. Bonnie believes and sets out to prove that Lyla is responsible for the disappearance and death of Polly Pitcher. This gets her into lots and lots of trouble. Bonnie tells the story while being held captive. She shares what Lyla has done, including among other things defacing her garage and spreading nasty rumors. Bonnie’s husband, the police and the FBI warn her to not get involved, but that only makes her want to solve the case even more.

Community Affairs is a mystery story with humor. Michele Lynn Seigfried has created characters that will make you laugh, worry, love and hate. I found myself reading late into the night because I couldn’t wait to find out what Bonnie would do next. It kept me involved right up to the ending I never saw coming. Community Affairs stands very well on its own merit. I highly recommend this book and anxiously await book number four.

D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review says:  Murder and amateur sleuthing is a mainstay of the mystery genre; but less common is the inclusion of humor, a device that sets Community Affairs apart from the majority of ‘look-alike’ titles and which provides a satisfying diversion from the usually-too-serious job of sleuthing.

The story opens with a first-person reflection on the protagonist’s kidnapping, then segues quickly to two weeks earlier, when events began to build. So far, nothing extraordinary. But this isn’t just a story of a murder and kidnapping: ultimately it’s about feuding neighbors, differing viewpoints, and a motivation that leads to not just murder, but mayhem.

Bonnie is taking an oath of office, and it’s time to celebrate her big promotion: an event almost stymied by new neighbors who are moving in and arguing with each other. As Bonnie comes to believe her new neighbor is unstable, she also makes some connections between Lemon Face (as she’s impulsively named the woman) and a missing local – and it’s then that push really comes to shove in a battle of neighbors turned deadly.

As Bonnie discovers more connections between Lemon Face (a.k.a. neighbor Lyla) and Polly, the wars escalate as each woman sees in the other an enemy able to destroy her happiness.

Now, the humor that permeates the plot isn’t your slapstick affair: it surrounds the give-and-take of protagonists and is deftly portrayed in conversations, more often than not: “He answered on the second ring.  “Speak to me.”  “That’s a rude way to answer your phone.”  “Well, well, well, if it isn’t the whore who lives next door.”  “And I’m talking to the prick who was hit with the Entenmann’s stick.”  “What’s that supposed to mean?”  “It means you’re cruel and overweight. It also means you’re not too bright, being that I had to explain it to you.”  “Hey. That wasn’t nice.

There are also little comments that provide whimsical and fun moments in an otherwise-serious sequence of events: “Not long afterwards, I heard the fine dining arrive—bread and water through a doggie door.”

The well-rounded blend of tongue-in-cheek humor, observation, and amateur sleuthing involves neighbors, murderers, and hospital personnel alike in a journey that is anything but ordinary.

Unlike many a murder mystery protagonist, Bonnie doesn’t aspire to gumshoe crime-solving: she’s already a busy mother with a career, a loving husband, and a lot going on in her world. She simply falls into the role of investigator – but, what a role it is!

Community Affairs is aptly named because many members of the community engage and interact in the course of ordinary and illicit affairs and their potential impact.

Nobody knows who the killer is. And Bonnie is about to break the case wide open – if she survives.

It’s detective writing at its best: adding a dash of humor to the mix to create not just comic relief, but the personality and whimsy lacking in most stories of amateur sleuths. And that’s what makes Community Affairs not just a standout, but a top recommendation.

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