Review: It’s a Mod Mod Mod Mod Murder by Rosemary Martin

Title: It’s a Mod Mod Mod Mod Murder (the first Murder A Go-Go Mystery)

Author: Rosemary Martin

Publisher: Signet Books [2005]

ISBN: 0-451-21470-6

Length: 260 pages

It’s 1964 and Elizabeth ‘call me Bebe’ Bennett has just moved from the genteel South in America to a New York apartment. When she and her airline stewardess roommate Darlene visit a luxury hotel for a date with two members of a new band that Bebe’s boss, Bradley Williams, has signed to his record label life gets complicated. The lead singer of the band is found murdered, Darlene is a suspect and ordered not to leave town (difficult for an international stewardess) and the man Bebe’s in love with, Bradley Williams, might lose his job. As is the way with all good cosy mysteries, Bebe struts into the role of amateur sleuthery with a great deal of enthusiasm and a load of luck.

Although it concerns a more recent past than is normally the case with historical crime fiction I’m still putting this one in that sub-genre as the main feature of the book is its focus on the swinging 60’s. There are loads of cultural and fashion references and the author clearly has a love of the time period. Bebe working for a record company offers lots of scope for name-dropping and the two girls lead quite the high-life. I wasn’t born until the end of the 60’s so have no first hand memory of the time but I grew up listening almost exclusively to the music from the era  and could probably tell you the plot of every That Girl episode (thanks to mum for both of these influences) and so I thoroughly enjoyed the setting of this story.

The plot was fairly typical of a cosy mystery in that the amateur sleuths have a number of scrapes and brushes with danger and there are red herrings and false suspects galore. However ‘routine’ it might be it does fit together logically and the resolution was satisfyingly unpredictable. The romance element was a bit higher than I like, particularly as Bebe was hopelessly in love with her boss and spent a bit too much of the book mooning about the place and being soppy. In fact she and the rest of the characters are a bit too two-dimensional to be truly memorable but there is potential for them and the friendship between Bebe and Darlene is a nicely written relationship.

This was a fun, quick book to read that delivered exactly what it promised. If you’re a fan of the 60’s and fancy a bit of escapsit fun (or a trip down memory lane) you could do a lot worse.

My rating 3/5

Other stuff

There are two more books in the series, Twist and Shout and Secret Agent Girl.

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