V.L. McDermid

DCI Carol Jordan and Dr. Tony Hill Psychologist and Profiler, Bradford
Kate Brannigan -Spunky P.I., Manchester England
Lindsay Gordon - Scottish Lesbian Journalist

"Star Struck"

(Reviewed by Guy Savage DEC 30, 2007)

"I left Gloria in the car while I did a brief reconnaissance of the venue. I had this vague notion of trying to spot any suspicious characters. I had more chance of hitting the Sahara on a wet Wednesday. Inside the pub, it was mayhem on a leash…. I began to wonder if we could have slipped through a black hole and ended up in the Andromeda galaxy."

Star Struck, the sixth mystery in the Kate Brannigan series by V.L. McDermid, finds Kate hired as a bodyguard to Gloria Kendal, the idiosyncratic star of The Northerners, a popular British soap opera. This is hardly a dream assignment for Kate. Brannigan and Co., Kate’s private investigation firm, handles a variety of cases, but the demands of protecting Gloria from the paparazzi, her fans and her fellow thespians test Kate and her coworkers to the limit.

Gloria Kendal has received a number of death threats, and she hasn’t taken them too seriously, but then when her tires are slashed under the noses of the television station’s tight security, she decides to employ Kate. Gloria’s enigmatic fortune teller, the “Seer to the Stars” Dorothea Dawson also predicts murder, and this causes the sensible, practical Gloria to hire Kate for around the clock protection. Kate’s job isn’t easy. Gloria is the consummate star, with an endless round of public engagements in crowded clubs and pubs.

Star Struck is an engaging mystery with no gore and all the violence takes place off stage. The strengths of the novel are found in the well-drawn characterizations. While Kate’s personal life with her freelance, rock journalist lover goes on the back burner for most of the plot, her professional relationships—both inside and outside Brannigan and Co. are scrutinized. Kate lives in a quid-pro-quo world; favors are granted and favors are called in as Kate investigates just who is behind the death threats. Kate, who doesn’t appear to have a domestic bone in her body, is a delightful sleuth protagonist. Easy-going, unflappable but also relentless in a deceptively unassuming way, Kate negotiates her way carefully through the petty jealousies of Gloria’s fellow actors in the cast of the Northerners. In this novel, author McDermid employs a low-key humor that makes this a light, but enjoyable mystery.

  • Amazon readers rating: from 6 reviews

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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)

Lindsay Gordon Mysteries

Kate Brannigan Mysteries

Dr. Tony Hill & Carol Jordan Mysteries



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Book Marks:


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About the Author:

Val McDermidVal McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community and read English at St. Hilda's College in Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years and is now a full-time writer, though she did not publish her first novel until 1987.

In 1995 she won the Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year. Her novel A Place of Execution won a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, won the Anthony, Macavity, and Dilys awards for best novel, and was a finalist for the Edgar Award.

She divides her time between South Manchester and Northumberland.

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