Title: Relationships Can Be Murder (Diega DelValle Mystery #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Jane DiLucchio (Regal Crest Enterprises LLC)
Publication Date & Length: July 28, 2015 – 197 pgs
Relationships Can Be Murder. That’s what Diega DelValle concludes when she finds herself alienated from her lover because of her affair with Sheila Shelbourne, Los Angeles TV newscaster and woman-about-town. Diega’s woes only increase when Sheila is found beaten to death and the police focus their investigations upon her.
Diega summons help from her three best buddies, Tully, Felicia, and Jenny. Together they delve into the world of television where they encounter an arena where ratings can be a matter of life and death. There’s Rachel who was vying with Sheila for a New York job. Or was she? Her husband Curtis maintains Rachel would kill for Sheila’s now open position in L.A. But then Curtis has his own, very old, axe to grind with Sheila. Has their past relationship caused her demise?
Then again, Sheila’s ex-husband is in the picture as well. Newly arrived from San Diego and famous for hurling items at Sheila’s women, does Steve have his own murderous thoughts about Sheila? Aurora thinks so. However, as Sheila’s discarded lover, Aurora may have her own agenda.
Family relationships are also suspect. Henry and Francine Shelbourne had two daughters, Sheila and Natalie. Both daughters are now dead. Coincidence? Or did the secret that bound the sisters together bring both their deaths years apart?
In the midst of trying to clear Diega, the four women discover that one of them has an even better motive than Diega for wanting Sheila dead–a discovery that drives a wedge between the friends. In the meantime, new relationships develop and get in the way of their investigation. The ever-amorous Tully finds herself drawn to the enticing police detective and Felicia and Jenny are discovering each other’s charms. No one but Diega seems to realize that Relationships Can Be Murder. Then Diega, herself, becomes the target. Is she the victim of one of her own relationships or is she getting too close to the truth?
This book had me intrigued from the opening location which resembled a scene from a Dick Tracy film. By the time I had finished the first two chapters I was well and truly hooked. In the short time I had been reading every fictitious detective had been alluded too. The mention of the Lone Ranger and Tonto had me laughing out loud. A truly magnificent start.
Once I reached half way I began to get a little bogged down in detail then the colour of the car was mentioned and once again the fervour of the chase began. Gripping stuff indeed. The breakneck speed continued as clues began to be discovered. I was left totally blind sided by one revelation, it completely validated her friend but I just did not see it coming, a really brilliant addition to this wonderful tale!!!
A real colourful mix of characters and dispositions, one of my favourites was Felicia, her dry humour and one liners were priceless. This is a really well crafted novel, not only intriguing but astute and intelligent. The humour and dialogue were a pleasure to read, the mix of not only temperaments and attitudes but also of ethnicity made this an outstanding read.
The climax was as dramatic as it was thrilling. Although the mystery was solved I was left hoping there were enough loose ends to continue with these wonderful characters that Ms Luccio had created.
I enjoyed this book, even though I’m not sure I like Diega. I’m once again forced to admit that mystery is not my genre. And sure enough, I felt like I stumbled along with Diega in her investigations, trying to puzzle out who-dunnit and getting shot down every chapter or so. Jenny’s secret wasn’t much of a surprise to me, since I was paying attention earlier in the book. I was more distressed by the fact that she and Tully hid the fact that she’d been there after Diega. Not cool. So I feel like I’m rambling without really telling anything that anybody would understand until they read the book. Here goes. Diega isn’t an investigator. It seems she stumbles from suspect to suspect, without really being able to ask the questions she needs the answers to, or getting the information she needs to make the picture clearer. Add in the fact that some of the information she gets throws some red herrings into the mix. What helps her solve the case isn’t something we’re exactly privy to, so I was clueless until the final confrontation. However, she and her friends do come up with some good ideas about how to get some reaction from the killer – something that comes with painful consequences for Diega. This book wasn’t about Diega’s personal life, and that’s good because it’s a mess. It seems that Diega had an affair with the deceased while involved with another woman. This other woman, Evie, is someone she still has feelings for, although her actions have caused Evie to say goodbye. This distresses me, because that’s something I really don’t like, and it’s a difficult thing for me to get past in order to like this character. I was taken along for the ride though, and it was an enjoyable ride. I’ll see what happens in the next book in hopes that I start to like who Diega is more.
Diega DelValle is a teacher who finds herself in a whole load of trouble when her ex lover, Sheila, a news anchor, is found murdered. When the police seem intent on pinning the killing on her, Diega and her group of gal pals set about solving the case for themselves. There are a lot of twists and turns in this mystery and plenty of red herrings to keep the reader engrossed. A cast of characters with connections going back years and some surprising revelations make it a great read and I didn’t want to put it down. There were a lot of people who could have killed Sheila as she was very promiscuous and had dumped a lot of ladies. She was also a win-at-any-cost ambitious type and relationships would always come second. She had hurt a lot of people. I liked the group of friends around Diega, especially Tully who was fun, full of vigour and determination. She was the one pushing to solve to case to make sure her friend didn’t get the blame. She was also a shameless flirt with the sexy cop, Gina Quinn. Evie was an interesting character and I hope we find out more about her in the next book.
Barnes & Noble
Jane DiLucchio is the author of the Diega DelValle Mystery and Kate Matthews Mystery series. She spent many years as a teacher, at both the elementary school and community college levels, a massage therapist, and an amateur farmer before giving in to the little voices that kept sounding off in her head. Since there’s a thin line between a psychotic and a writer (psychotics try to convince everyone that the voices they hear are real; writers write it down and tell everyone its fiction), Jane finally decided to give in to the voices rather than undergo intensive psychotherapy.
Jane and her partner, Sue, are raising their two cats (Murphy and Shania) in a loving home in Southern California.
Author’s GoodReads Page