Review of The Breakfast Club Murder by Camilla T. Crespi
Reviewed By Merri Rosenberg
The Breakfast Club Murder
By Camilla T. Crespi
Published by Five Star, Gale, Cengage Learning. 326 pp.
I wouldn’t wish another snow day on anyone. But if this endless winter doesn’t ever end, you could happily curl up with a cup of hot tea, a cozy throw and this delightful murder mystery for a welcome antidote to cabin fever.
I need to confess that I’m not usually a fan of this genre, with the exception of Carl Hiaasen’s wicked mysteries that skewer Florida’s abundant quirks. I initially opened Camilla Crespi’s The Breakfast Club Murder as an assigned task to be completed. I wasn’t prepared for my complete immersion in this enthralling story, lifting my eyes from the pages only when I realized that I’d be late for a dinner meeting.
The story is accessible—no costume drama or seedy underworld here. Instead, we’re given a middle-aged, recently divorced heroine, Lori--Loretta—Corvino. She’s living in an affluent Connecticut suburb not far from Westchester with her teenage daughter, trying to pick up the pieces after her attorney husband left her to marry their wealthy, blonde dentist. When the dentist is murdered only a few days after the wedding, after dropping off Lori’s daughter at a friend’s house, suspicion falls on Lori, and then, her ex-husband. To clear her ex’s name, mostly for the sake of their daughter, Jessica, Lori enlists her mother and network of steadfast friends (The Breakfast Club Sisterhood) to figure out the real murderer.
What Crespi does so admirably, besides work successfully within the suspense genre to dangle various suspects and scenarios before changing direction and keeping the reader eager to turn the page, is create a completely credible and specific world. Although I’m less familiar with the Connecticut geography she describes, I could locate myself exactly in the White Plains, Mamaroneck and Port Chester neighborhoods, where some of the plot unfolds.
The plot includes dark secrets from the murder victim’s past, Lori’s attraction to a younger suitor, the realities of economic reversals that suggest motive for some characters, and the tangled tensions between mothers and daughters.
Tuck this into a tote as a diverting read for the daily commute or save it for a summer beach bag, as a welcome reward for surviving the winter of 2014.#