bowled over
Mystery author Maggie Kelly had enough on her mind wondering how she was going to keep her fictional Regency Era creation from dropping to one knee with a marriage proposal. Then a murderer crosses the foul line — way too close to home ...

Another day, another crime scene.

Maggie wouldn't mind putting a little distance between herself and the hunky regency hero of her novels. Alexandre Blake, the Viscount Saint Just, who has miraculously come to life with talk of sweeping her straight down the aisle. But now that her parents have split up, Maggie is having trouble resisting Alex's tender loving care. So she invites him along to visit her family. Unfortunately, they arrive just in time to watch her father being taken away in handcuffs as a murder suspect!

Thank goodness she has her very own romance hero.

The local police are convinced Evan Kelly has killed his bowling buddy, who happened to be having an affair with Maggie's mom. It doesn't help that Evan's bowling ball was found next to the dead body. Her dad may have had motive, but Maggie knows he's definitely no killer. Luckily, she has Alex riding to the rescue — and making her wonder if a happily ever after might not be out of her league after all ...
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Historical mystery writer Margaret (Maggie) Kelly is past the belief that she needs to seek help. Instead she believes that her Regency hero in her novel Alex Blake is real, at least as real as a character can be, and that his sidekick Sterling is also as real as Alex is. So with this thought in mind, Maggie begins to relax and enjoy her relationship with Alex Blake.

It is almost time for another Kelly Family Christmas, and Maggie decides it's time to take Alex and Sterling on a road trip to the family function. Maggie, of course, wants to stop and tour a Manhattan home she wants to buy, and while there she breaks her foot. For most women this might be a sign that the worst is yet to come but not for Maggie, she has a cast and a walker so bring on the fun.

Sterling wants to go to a casino. Maggie takes Alex and Sterling to the casino and, of course, they run into Henry Novack.  When she hits the jackpot,Henry says she stole it not won the jackpot away from him. Well they can't seem to shake Henry.  He dogs her at every fork in the road and anywhere else she ends up.

Anxious to make it to her parents whom are separated from one another, Maggie stops at her mother Alicia's house upon which she doesn't stay long and decides to go to her father's apartment instead. Along with Alex and Sterling, Maggie is in time to see her father (Evan) in handcuffs. It seems the local police think that her father murdered his bowling buddy. Maggie knows it looks bad for him since his bowling ball is the murder weapon and was found at the crime scene next to the body.

However, Maggie knows that her father would not kill anyone even if they did have a fling with her mother. The problem is proving his innocence is a little harder than she thought it was going to be. Plus the victim Walter Bodkin seems to have left many a female in his wake. The term "Ladies Man" takes on a new meaning especially with Alex and Sterling along for the ride.

BOWLED OVER by Kasey Michaels is a witty mystery ,and if this series has to end, at least we have a holiday to remember. I love the humor, cast of characters, and you will die laughing. A colorful and amusing way for the series to end.

Pamela James

Maggie Kelly is a successful historical mystery writer whose studly hero, Alexandre Blake, the Viscount Saint Just, has come to life to help her solve murders.  In this sixth (and perhaps last?) book of the series, Maggie and Alex are in Ocean City, NJ for Christmas with Maggie's dysfunctional family. When her father, Evan Kelly, is arrested by the police for the murder of a member of his bowling team, Maggie and Alex are immediately on the case.  Untangling the clues as to who the real murderer is take Maggie and Alex romping through family secrets and casinos.  Interspersed between the chapters are short tips to aspiring writers on writing a mystery that not so inconsequently, provide a clue or two towards solving the book's murder.

If someone had tried to explain Maggie and Alex to me before I read the book, I would have found it difficult to believe that I could suspend disbelief for even the basic premise that the hero of a book could come to life.  However Kasey Michaels brings it off  with wit and finesse.  Maggie and her family seem very real and Alex is a well drawn caricature of the romantic hero while providing a bit of romance to the novel. Michaels made me more than a little nostalgic for Ocean City, a town I love but unfortunately have not been to in years. The book was light, funny and a first-class mystery puzzle. I recommend this book.

Christine Duncan