Series: Soap Opera Mystery #1
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Published by Signet on 7 October 2008
Death in Daytime is a light soap opera mystery written by a soap opera star Eileen Davidson – she’s the one who played Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless and starred in Days of Our Lives. Writing a mystery with a soap opera diva detective is a smart move as it is obviously a world she is familiar with. A head writer with a grudge against our protagonist has her head smashed in with her Emmy and Alexis is the prime suspect. It is a fun story even though it is not terribly complicated.
The main character, Alexis Petersen, seems to walk around in a bit of a bubble. She is fairly self-centred and keeps reassuring herself that she doesn’t really care what other people think about her. There wasn’t a lot of subtlety with the characters – much like a soap opera – which was a shame. I would have liked a deeper sense of how Alexis became the way she did beyond the cursory background we were given. The secondary characters were also drawn with the same broad strokes. Some of the situations she gets herself into beggar belief as her investigating skills are fairly basic. If I read any more of this series, I hope Alexis improves in this department.
Given Davidson’s background, it is no surprise that the novel reads more like a soap opera script. I guessed the baddie fairly easily even though there were a few red herrings slipped in to trip up Alexis. The plot dragged a bit in the middle with the obligatory potential love triangle. Generally speaking, all the right ingredients were there but they needed greater finesse. Humour was sprinkled throughout and it made the book more palatable.
I think that future books will probably be more engaging as Davidson refines her style.