Friday, January 31, 2014


by J.E. Forman

Exotic settings with a touch of murder make a perfect escape for these frigid winter evenings. Really Dead by J.E. Forman, the first in the Ria Butler Mysteries, does just that. With a sleuth who's also a travel writer, the reader is assured of some tantalizing armchair travels.

Along with being set in the British Virgin Islands, it also takes place on the set of a reality TV show. Talk about a hot topic these days. Ria is persuaded by an old friend to visit the taping on location when a severed foot turns up as an unscripted part of the show. The premise of this show is to find the next manager for an exclusive resort that just happens to belong to the Butler clan (that's as in Ria's family) and it's being produced by her brother, James. Although reluctant to get involved, the fact that he may be involved in something far more dangerous than temperamental actors sends Ria packing. She's also aware she has to go it alone and cannot rely on investigative reporter Glenn Cooper to help, until their rocky relationship is defined. Ria arrives on the island of Soupsor and the reader is delivered into a behind-the-scenes world of a reality TV show in the making.

Ria quickly understands that James is mixed up in something far more complicated than the fact that he's sharing his villa with a bimbo. As the plot thickens, as more actors descend into the filming mix and Ria realizes she's attracting unwanted attention, she calls on Glenn for help and the reality becomes a deadly business.

Really Dead really delivers. There's humour, missing body parts, a producer everyone loves to hate, exotic locations, and a well-plotted mystery. That's not surprising since J.E. Forman sports a list of credits that are evident in the writing of Really Dead. She's been a television producer, a screenwriter and, under cover of a pseudonym, a romance novelist.

I wonder where Ria Butler is heading next?

1 comment:

  1. Just looking at that cover makes me long to be in the British Virgin Islands. Really Dead is a really good read, too!