Evie Howland has problems.
Guns. Bombs. Murderers.
And that's just on the page...
In real life she's meant to be planning a wedding to adorable billionaire Daniel Bradley, but Evie is seriously snarled in the sixteenth book of her successful crime series. In fact, her protagonists are becoming almost impossible to wrangle: NYPD detective Carolyn Harding is volatile after a messy divorce, and Detective Jay Ryan has that heated look in his blue eyes again. They're both sick of being written. And frankly they're getting a little...physical. Evie is beginning to wonder if she's ever going to finish Book Sixteen and get them back into fiction where they belong.
But when a disturbingly familiar homicide surfaces in the city papers, it seems as if other, darker characters might have crossed the fiction-frontier too. In which case, Evie is in a lot of real-life trouble. If she's going to survive it, Evie must face her own worst fears, and learn that real love can be the best way of writing her own story.
But can she change the ending?
Plot/Idea: Crime Writer offers an intriguing concept: a frustrated novelist's characters come alive to assist her in finishing her 16th novel. The depiction of the experience of writer's block and the clever ways that Sheppard writes her character's way out of predicaments will resonate with readers--especially those who are writers themselves.
Prose: Though the text may benefit from being pared down, the prose is straightforward, clear, and engaging.
Originality: The plot is fresh and original, with a gratifying meta element. The romantic storyline is equally well played.
Character Development/Execution: Evie seems quite complete as a character and realistic as a writer grappling with a creative block. The characters in her novel and her fiancée, Daniel, are less thoroughly executed and believable.
Date Submitted: April 05, 2022