I used to really enjoy the Gregor Demarkian books, but I think they might have hit the Eve Dallas/Stephanie Plum stage of their run. I understand an author wanting to stick to a working formula, but when you get too checklisty (“page 84…time for a breakfast scene with quirky best friend”), it isn’t as fun for a reader.
Gregor Demarkian is a retired FBI agent. He lives in Philadelphia, in his old Armenian neighborhood, with his friend/girlfriend/wife (depending on the book) and a cast of interesting characters (interesting the first dozen books, anyway). He consults on murder investigations for the Philadelphia police. His local papers call him “the Armenian-American Hercule Poirot,” and he has a tendency to store up information until the last page and refuse to share his theory until he’s sure all the bits are right.
The mystery for this one was fun, at least. Fourteen teenage girls are in the middle of casting for an “America’s Got Talent/Next Superstar” type show, when somebody tries to kill the legendary bitch of a host a couple times. Since the suspect pool includes pretty much everyone alive, Gregor’s assistance is needed, and he has to wade into the fray of a herd of teenage angst and hysteria. It made me miss Potes’s America’s Next Top Model recaps about the ‘hamsters’ on Television Without Pity.
If you’ve read one Gregor Demarkian book, you’ve read them all, and this one is no different. Still, you could do worse. I would like to see Jane Haddam mix it up a little, though.