Heart Attack and Vine: A Crush Mystery
(Crush Mysteries #2)
by Phoef Sutton
Disclaimer: Phoef Sutton is the editor of People Are Strange, an anthology that will be released later this year. My short story, "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" is part of the anthology and so Sutton will be editing it.
This is actually one of those books that's been on my bookshelf for a while, and since I'll be working with Sutton I decided this would be a good time to bust it out. And I'm glad I did. Between a clever mystery, local settings (even the section set in New Orleans was familiar from having been there for Bouchercon in 2016) and the fact that not only is it set in the entertainment industry but takes great glee in poking fun at Hollywood types, this one is a winner. I didn't realize until I was almost done that this is actually the second book featuring bouncer/bodyguard Caleb "Crush" Rush. Unfortunately it looks like there was only one more in the series after this one (2017's Colorado Boulevard).
In addition to the roller-coaster thrill ride that this story is, there's also a pretty amazing twist at the end that for me serves as a master class on writing a mystery as well as being entertaining as hell. I will definitely check out the other two Crush novels; my only concern is that they will leave me wanting more. I'll have to ask Phoef Sutton about it when I get the chance.