Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review: Dead Man of the Year

Dead Man of the Year by Stephen Hawley Martin
Pub. Date: July2010
Publisher: Oaklea Press
272 pages

Durston Negus is a medium-sized advertising firm located in Richmond, Virginia. Brian Durston leaves a lucrative job at a Madison Avenue Agency to join the smaller firm. Promised a stake in the firm by his Uncle Rod, Brian’s future looks bright. Bright until the night he discovers his uncle’s body slumped over his desk. The police rule it a suicide which cancels out Uncle Rod’s life insurance policy. Without the insurance money Brian cannot purchase his Uncle’s shares of the firm. Who benefits? The surviving partners of course.

Brian decides an investigation is in order. While beginning the investigation the firm’s largest account goes into review and Brian must also work to save the account and the firm his uncle built. An up and coming copywriter steps in to help Brian solve the murder and perhaps save the firm. Could she be involved in the murder? Who can Brian trust?

A romance taunt with suspicion, an ad campaign that must be outstanding, partners who might have reason to murder the largest shareholder, Brian has his hands full. Will he be able to prove his uncle was murdered, inherit the money to buy his uncle’s interest, and save the agency?

This is a classic whodunit with many interesting story lines. Martin leads us through the exciting pace of an ad agency on the verge of success or failure. Brian is a hero who is reminiscent of a modern, lighter “Madmen” advertising character. He is likable though a little naive at times. The romance though sudden and a bit confusing at the beginning gains some merit as the story progresses. Dead Man of the Year has some of the feel of a cozy mystery mixed into a suspense mystery. This story is a page turner mystery. You just have to find out if it is a murder and if so who the murderer might be. This book is recommended for mystery buffs everywhere.


bookmagic said...

I like the Madmen idea. I will add this to the list of books to check out! Thanks for the great review

Deb said...

Don't let the stream of consciousness beginning throw you. It was an interesting book that I enjoyed once I got past that.