Book Review: 30 Second Death by Laura Bradford

July 15, 2017 contemporary, cozy mystery, Laura Bradford, mystery/suspense 5

about the book

To help an old friend, Tobi Tobias gets a third-rate thespian a part in a commercial, and learns that in the advertising business, bad acting can lead to murder . . .

When Tobi Tobias opened her own advertising agency, Carter McDade was there for her every step of the way. A brilliant hairdresser, Carter has just landed his dream project: doing hair and makeup for a theatrical production of Rapunzel. But the dream turns into a nightmare when he runs into Fiona Renoir, a cruel, talentless starlet who won’t let Carter touch a hair on her head.

To get Fiona out of Carter’s hair, Tobi hires the difficult actress for a bit part in her latest commercial. But true to character, Fiona is a terror on set, and Tobi is starting to think she’s made the biggest mistake of her life. But things get even worse when Fiona drops dead in the hairdresser’s chair, and the only suspect is the man left holding the tainted hair dye, Carter McDade. And unless Tobi can prove his innocence, he’ll never do hair in this town again.

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SERIES: A Tobi Tobias Mystery #2
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Lyrical Underground
RELEASE DATE: July 11, 2017
PAGES: 222

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Tobi Tobias is delightfully layered and realistically flawed. She places great stock in friendships and has an endearing narrative voice. I sort-of see her as Sandra Bullock in “While You Were Sleeping” or “Miss Congeniality” – a little awkward, a lot lovable, and a good heart. She’s witty and smart, she snort-laughs, she has stand-offs with parrots, and she is a total junk food addict.

In 30 Second Death, the main supporting characters are back and Tobi has her hands full! She must solve a murder to save Carter and solve a business problem to save Mary Fran. All while maintaining her own advertising business and trying not to gag at the thought of her beloved Grandpa Stu’s simmering romance with Tobi’s hated neighbor. You can imagine the hilarity that ensues.

And can I just say here that Sam, Mary Fran’s teenage son, is my favorite character?!? He’s a teenage boy, of course, but he’s insightful for his years and his compassionate heart slays me. I would love a whole series for Sam… hint, hint to the author 😉 For that matter, I really do love all the main characters including Tobi’s assistant and Tobi’s love interest Andy (who I did want to purse whomp a couple of times, though, in this installment).

The mystery in 30 Second Death isn’t so much about solving who did it as it is about proving who didn’t. The victim is so obnoxious that’s it’s almost a relief when she’s killed (i know… that’s awful. But you haven’t met her yet! Trust me.) but then the dread sets in as you realize that Tobi’s best friend Carter (another fave character of mine) is the number one suspect. If it were possible, I would have jumped into the pages to help clear his name – but Tobi does a pretty good job on her own 😉

Bottom Line: Humor, heart, and a well-plotted mystery. It doesn’t get much better. Tobi Tobias is a heroine you’d want as a friend – and she’ll feel like one after you’ve read a book in this series. 30 Second Death is the second book but it can work as a standalone if you haven’t read Death in Advertising yet. Emphasis on ‘yet’ because you should, even just for the enjoyment factor. And the ending of this book has me eagerly waiting for And Death Goes To… to see how both revelations will play out in Mary Fran’s life. (Not a cliffhanger, per se, so don’t panic.) If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, make sure this series is on your TBR list!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Fun and well-crafted!

Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some mild cursing in this novel.

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about the author

As a child, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do or be anything else. Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the upcoming Tobi Tobias Mystery Series. She is a former Agatha Award nominee, and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. A graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

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What about you? Tobi is all about chocolate. What’s your junk food go-to?

Carrie

5 Responses to “Book Review: 30 Second Death by Laura Bradford”

  1. Winnie Thomas

    Definitely chocolate–anything chocolate (well, most anything 😀 ) This book sounds intriguing!

  2. Paula S.

    Chocolate! These sound soofunny and good! Have to look them up!