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by Schuyler Kaufman

Paperback - 244 pages (September 2001)
High Country Publishers, Ltd.; ISBN: 0971304521

Reviewed by Karen Meek

Matt Logan, film actor, is starting to rebuild his life just as surgeons have rebuilt his face. A serious car accident with his young daughter in the car beside him and him drunk at the wheel, has left Matt, scarred, divorced and legally banned from seeing the daughter he calls Mouse. Though he cannot send them to her, he writes letters to her in his journal.

Fortunately Matt has secured another acting job as a lead in 'Demon Dun', a low budget horror-romance film, shooting on Beller Mountain, North Carolina. One of the locals, Crystal Beller, tries to secure a juicy role by breaking into Matt's hotel room with a view to seducing him. Unluckily for her he shares the room with the director. After they humiliate her, she tries to blackmail Matt by stealing his journal and threatening to publish the letters which would violate Matt's court order.

It's not long before Crystal is found murdered in Matt's dressing room and all the evidence points to him. Complicating matters, is the arrival of Matt's ex wife and her new husband who want Matt to let them adopt Mouse. Together with a romance with a strong willed co-star and convincing the police that he is innocent, Matt has his hands full.

DEAR MOUSE is an enjoyable cozy, with an intriguing murder mystery played out alongside Matt's progress from a bad situation to a situation with hope and a future.

This was a fast read and I liked the unusual format of a letter per chapter. The author draws all the threads together neatly at the end and though there were clues available to the keen reader to solve the murder, I didn't work out who did it and certainly not why.

The writing flows and I can picture the majority of the large cast of characters with perhaps the exception of Matt's romantic interest for whom I was unable to develop a mental photo. The reader gets to know Matt well and as such he appears very real and likeable and someone I'd like to read more about. Hopefully, it won't be too long a wait.

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