Stiff Competition; Miss America (Tracy Gayle Mysteries)
by Trish Hubschman
What Amazon Says
America’s favorite rock band, Tidalwave, is playing the Miss America pageant. Band leader Danny Tide is emceeing the event. All is going according to schedule. The judges have picked the 10 semi–finalists. Suddenly, everything comes to a halt. Miss New Jersey is missing. Nobody knows what happened to her or where she is. Danny calls his longtime PI friend, Tracy Gayle, and asks her to come down to Atlantic City to help figure things out. In need of her best friend for personal support and eager to get to another case, Tracy agrees. There’s an all–out search of the hotels on the boardwalk. They find Miss New Jersey, but it’s not good. Her kidnapping leads to another assault and murder. The big star and the lady PI work together on this one, so that the Miss America pageant can continue as usual.
I recently reviewed the first book in this series, Tidalwave, here. These books are like the Nancy Drew mysteries I read as a kid. They’re fast-paced and suspenseful, with not too much violence, and I couldn’t read just one.
As I said in my review of Tidalwave, stories about musicians have always fascinated me, since I wanted to be a professional singer when I was young. Beauty pageants were once a source of intrigue for me when, as a teenager, I took an interest in being Miss America and watched the pageant religiously for a while. Although scenes where the rock band was rehearsing or Mis America want-to-bes were strutting their stuff were few and far between, I still found this book hard to put down.
Stiff Competition also contains some romance. I was pleased to discover that love-making scenes were not too explicit, with just enough foreplay. At the end, the romance and mystery are brought to a satisfying conclusion. I like the way the post script provides back story from the previous book and ties up those romantic loose ends.
Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.
Independently published with the help of DLD Books.
Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.
After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.
Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.
Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?