The Actor's Guild - The Bakery Murders: Challenge

Full Length Novel (152506 word count)

Best friends and parapsychologists Kim Henson and Liz Carr live in the McCann's manor house, a property that had been given to them as a payment for ridding it of ghosts. But ghosts isn't the only distinction the eclectic property has, it is also the site of a portal into another realm.

When a murder occurs at a local bakery, the two friends are unable to keep themselves from investigating and are drawn into the world of a serial killer. Worse, they believe the killer is someone they know who has a penchant for women that fit Liz's description.

Making matters worse, John, Liz's new boyfriend who shares a soul with Ben, Liz's former love in another life, is forced to work with Ben in order to protect the Liz and Kim from unsavory beings passing through the portal into their home. The pair must pass into the other realm and work in a world full of dragons and wizards and all kinds of creatures good and bad.

And they are all relying on John, a man who is convinced he is nothing more than a decent actor.

And so two distinct story lines run through the book, Ben and John and a variety of others working against all odds to save another realm from destruction and Liz's and Kim's battle with a serial killer.

The Bakery Murders is one of the books in The Actor's Guild Series by Charlotte Holley and can easily stand-alone. It's a very long book, in excess of 150,000 words (that's about 600 pages in the print world) and I'm happy to say it held my interest throughout.

I suspect, however, based on your genre preference, readers will tend to like one story line more than the other since they are very different. The Liz/serial killer portion of the book has a contemporary mystery thriller/suspense feel while the John portion in the other realm feels like an adventure/fantasy novel. Both are good, but switching between the two feels like you've put down one novel and picked up another. 

I was impressed by Ms. Holley's meticulous plotting and felt the book was very well done. There was a lot to keep track of and given it's part of a series that only makes keeping everything straight even more difficult.

My only critique of the writing is that the characters all spoke in a similar voice. Everyone spoke in clear, well-constructed sentences.

But if you are looking for a well-written story that combines genres and will pull you in and keep you there for a while, then this one is for you.

Book Blurb for The Actor's Guild - The Bakery Murders: Challenge

Liz Carr and Kim Henson got more than they bargained for when they agreed to move into McCann's Manor and rid the place of unfriendly spirits.

Nothing they had experienced in their ghostbusting careers could have prepared them for what lay ahead. They solved the mystery of the deaths of Leonard and Missy Tatum, as well as the murder of Benjamin McCann two hundred years before, but they never guessed that was only the beginning, nor could they have dreamed of the strange creatures from another world waiting to invade their lives.

Now death stalks them on all sides as they attempt to unravel the enigmatic questions surrounding Benjamin McCann and the beautiful house he built . . .

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2009 4.25