Author: Duncan MacMaster
Genre: Murder Mystery
Format: Kindle edition 261 pages
Release Date: 26 July 2018
Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
Today it is my great pleasure to join the blog tour for Duncan MacMaster’s new book ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’. My thanks to the publisher Fahrenheit Press for the advance copy for review and to Emma Welton at Damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me to join the tour. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
About the Book
Money in the bank and his dream girl on his arm – life was looking pretty sweet for Kirby Baxter. After solving the murder of a movie starlet the previous year, Kirby is doing his best to live down his burgeoning reputation as part-time Interpol agent and amateur sleuth. Then reality TV comes knocking next door.
Million Dollar Madhouse is a reality TV show where a bunch of washed up celebrities are thrown together in a dilapidated mansion while their attempts to renovate the building are broadcast 24/7 for the viewers delight.
Kirby’s quiet town is thrown into chaos by the arrival of camera crews, remote control video drones and a cast of characters including disgraced actress Victoria Gorham, political shock-jock Bert Wayne and reality TV royalty Kassandra Kassabian.
When one of the cast members turns up dead the local police turn to the only celebrity detective in town for help and draft an unwilling Kirby into their investigation.
The first body is only the beginning of another rip-roaring adventure for Kirby Baxter and with Gustav his loyal driver/valet/bodyguard/gardener//chef/ass-kicker at his side, our hero plunges into the fray with his usual stunning displays of deductive reasoning and sheer bloody luck.
You can order your copy of ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ directly from the Publisher at:
Firstly, I couldn’t pick up this book without singing the song ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ in my head. I literally had this song in my head for days! But once I got over that I could actually start reading.
Our story starts when our main character Kirby Baxter is visited by his girlfriends cousin Shelley Flugen. Shelley works for a gossip blog and wants the inside scoop on the reality TV show being filmed at the Old Cushing house.
Baxter then also gets a call from the Mayor of Wahegon Bay who is concerned about the reality show and wants Baxter to do some digging and find a legitimate reason for why they can shut filming down and move them on. With these two on his case Baxter is somewhat pressurised into visiting the house to see what’s going on.
The show has a bunch of has-been celebrities doing home improvements on the mansion. It seems ridiculous but in this age of TV I guess anything can be filmed now and made into a reality TV programme. One of the reality stars mysteriously dies but it’s unclear whether it was due to natural causes or whether murder is at play. Everyone on set is a suspect.
Baxter is a pretty cool character. He used to be a comic book artist but after being fired from his job and dumped by his then girlfriend, he bought a lottery ticket in a rare fit of whimsy and landed up winning a record breaking amount of money. He decided to go on a tour of Europe to figure out what to do with his life and somehow landed up with the semi-official status with Interpol as their go-to guy for solving puzzling cases.
As this book is a sequel, I think a lot more detail is given about these events in the first book but enough background information is given in this book that I was still able to get a sense of Baxter’s character and how he’s come to be where he is and it is completely capable of being read as a standalone.
Despite Baxter’s wealth he comes across as a really decent, down to earth kind of guy and seems to take on his semi-official investigator status with some reluctance but does so nonetheless.
This is a classic ‘who done it’ genre with multiple motives, multiple suspects and not a bit of information to go on at the beginning of the investigation. There are quite a few characters and at times I found it hard to keep up with who some of the lesser featured characters were and what their roles were within the story.
I read this book in sections, dipping in and out, and for me personally this made it a somewhat confusing read as I got slightly turned around with what was happening and who all the characters are. But don’t let this put you off, I would just recommend dedicating some time and reading the book in bigger chunks where possible to keep the flow.
As I have said, this is a sequel, and the mentions of Baxter’s previous escapades have made me curious and I would read the first book in this series. Recommend for anyone who likes a good mystery with multiple suspects and where you are kept guessing till late in the story.
About the Author
Film school survivor, pop culture junkie, blogger, and unrepentant nitpicker.
Author of A MINT CONDITION CORPSE, the first Kirby Baxter mystery, which is now available in ebook & paperback, and the upcoming standalone thriller HACK, both from Fahrenheit Press.
Duncan also writes science fiction and fantasy, and screenplays in many genres.
For more reviews and updates you can follow me on Twitter @BooksBucks