5 out of 5 stars Marlee McCabe does it again! September 6, 2023 Another exciting installment in Brenda Donelan's University Mystery series, featuring full-time professor and part-time sleuth Marlee McCabe! I loved this book!
Before we go any further, in the interest of full disclosure, I did receive a free ARC copy of Deadly Reality in return for a fair and honest review. And this fun mystery hit all the right notes.
Marlee McCabe, a professor at Midwestern University in Elmwood, South Dakota, can't keep her nose out of a good mystery when one presents itself to her. This time, there's a reality TV show filming on campus, and Marlee is worried for the safety and well being of the students, and her fears are proven founded when the professor facilitating the filming turns up dead. Marlee, in her usual go-get-'em fashion, tracks down the clues--occasionally getting herself in trouble--to help solve the murder.
I've really enjoyed every installment in this series, and this book highlights what I most love about it--the big, generous heart of the main character. Whether she's helping a student avoid trouble with the police, hosting a get-together, flirting with her boyfriend, or facing down criminals, Marlee's warmth, humor, and just "good-person-ness" are always at the forefront. To me, she's the main attraction of this series, and this installment is no exception.
And the mystery in Deadly Reality is possibly Donelan's most inventive yet! I was guessing right until the Big Reveal about who committed the murder, and how they did it.
If you enjoy fun cozy mysteries with small-town intrigue, this is a series and a novel that you need to check out right away!
5 out of 5 stars Page turner with lots of plot twists! September 14, 2023 Someone dies during the filming of a reality show. Who wouldn't love that? I was one of the lucky people who received a pre-release copy of Brenda Donelan's "Deadly Reality." All Donelan's books in her University Mystery series can be read as stand-alones, but they are just like chocolate chip cookies, you can't read just one. Deadly Reality is the latest in her University Mystery series and it might be my favorite one. Let's face it, a reality show being filmed in a quaint little midwestern-university town is big news. And then someone dies! I loved how current this book felt and Donelan always has great character development. She creates loveable good characters and great bad guys that you love to hate. From her detective boyfriend to the backstabbing politics of university faculty and add a dash of sleezy film producers and you get a strong cast of characters in this whodunnit. The main character of the series, Marlee McCabe is a modern young version of Jessica Fletcher with a little better fashion sense. Filled with a tenacious curiosity and mad detective skills, Marlee McCabe always solves the mystery. Don't be fooled by the quaint setting. This is a page turner filled with plots twists that keep you guessing up to the end.
5 out of 5 stars My first University Mystery book! September 18, 2023 Deadly Reality is my introduction to Brenda Donelan's University Mystery series and it read well as a stand alone book. I loved the language, the setting, the characters so much that I am going back and buying all of them. There's nothing better than a winter mystery and this left me wishing I had a blanket and cup of cocoa.
A reality TV series is exciting anywhere, but a reality show in the Midwest is the talk of the town. Throw in a murder and some unsavory characters and you will feel like you are there with Miss McCabe. (I love that name - play on macabre?) I recommend this book to everyone who loves a good mystery, but especially if you're with us on the high plains.