||Oct 30 2007
Barnes & Noble.com
Cush City Bookstore
Welcome to the Official website of author, Dorothy Phaire
Set under the backdrop of our nation’s capital, Murder and the Masquerade is a story of self-discovery for an attractive yet lonely psychologist who feels trapped in an unfulfilling life; she then goes through an emotional and sexual awakening to reclaim her inner strength and passion for life. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances, she finds herself involved in a murder case, where initially she is a suspect. She then becomes conflicted about her ethical oath as a psychologist to protect her patient, who later becomes the prime suspect, and a growing passion for her young lover, who is investigating the murder case.
This book is for readers who want to be swept away in the lives of characters that seem so real you can almost hear and see them. It is a book for readers looking for suspense, excitement, and real-life experiences as portrayed by characters you won't want to let go even after the story ends. If you are a reader who wants a story that offers hope, new discoveries, and new beginnings, you will want to read Murder and the Masquerade to find out if two ill-matched lovers can overcome the odds and realize their love for one another. If you want to escape for awhile and delve into the lives of characters who will keep you up all night to find out what happens next, this is the book for you!
MURDER and THE MASQUERADE: A Review
Crafting an enigmatic yet absolutely spellbinding romantic-mystery novel must be one of the hardest jobs possible for a writer. Questions must arise about how a writer gives the reader just enough information to remain curious while simultaneously satisfying the reader’s curiosity just enough to keep the reader turning the pages of the book--fast. Dorothy Phaire in her novel, MURDER and THE MASQUERADE has discovered the formula, not only to structuring the perfect mystery plot but in structuring her fast paced story of a Black, female psychologist, the doctor’s patients, and her failing marriage while initiating the story with an unsolved murder. The setup creates a suspense that keeps the pages turning.
Forget washing the dishes, doing the laundry, or paying the bills--all of these mundane chores will fall by the wayside until Dear Reader, you reach the last page of this unbelievably absorbing book!
Phaire is writing about a psychologist and yet, it seems like the author herself is the psychologist, not because her writing is technical or dry--by no means. Instead, it is because Dorothy Phaire so craftily creates a protagonist so complex, one who leaves us asking so many, many questions after closing the book about this character. In fact, because MURDER and THE MASQUERADE is the first book in a new mystery-romance series, I suspect this is just the affect the author wants. Phaire teases us as readers into analyzing the analyzer. Why does the main character continually let the opportunities to repair her failing marriage slip? Why can’t she break out of her own shell to obtain the happiness she envisions? Why does she keep stumbling over her own self? What need to be some perfect image for others does this character possess that drives her into being who she is not?
That analysis does not stop at the main character but carries over into all the characters that complement the protagonist--those supporting characters who work with her or as obstructions to her purposes. We constantly re-evaluate their motives, their behaviors and the whole book becomes a real guessing game until finally the murder is solved, a murder which while it surprises in the end, still weaves together all the book’s missing links. Dear Reader, you will not be disappointed with this book. MURDER and THE MASQUERADE will keep you enthralled from beginning to end.
Review written by Priscilla R. Ramsey, Ph.D.
Howard University, Department of African American Studies, Washington, D. C. (Retired)
Two African-American women in the Washington, D.C., metro area face their middle-age struggles with love, family and murder charges in this empowering romantic thriller.
Dr. Renee Hayes seems to have everything—a lavishly decorated French Colonial house, a successful psychology practice and a popular series of self-help books. On the inside, however,she is just as troubled as any of her patients. One of these is Veda Simms, a suicidal paralegal who has estranged herself from her ex-husband and daughter as a result of her dangerous obsession
with LaMarr Coleman, a crooked attorney at her law firm. At first, the patient and doctor seem to be the antithesis of each other (with the exception of a shared hairdresser). Veda is petty and self-absorbed, concerned only with what LaMarr thinks of her, while selfless Renee tends to an infant with AIDS in her off-hours. A series of seemingly unrelated crimes befall the two women,and Renee finds herself in the throes of a torrid affair with Deek, a young detective investigating the crimes, as a relief from her tepid marriage. At the end of her patience with LaMarr’s shady activities, Veda goes from a weepy mess of nerves to a wrathful ex. When both women are wrongfully charged with LaMarr’s gruesome murder, they begin to question their chosen paths. In this rewrite of her 2001 book Almost Out of Love, Phaire devotes a sizable chunk of the story solely to her characters’ biographies, giving the reader a detailed psychological portrait of the two women but
occasionally hindering plot progression. Mystery and suspense take a back seat as chapter-long childhood flashbacks play out, drawing the reader
deeper into the psyches of Veda and Renee. Displays a knack for shaping round characters with rich and troubled pasts—sure to be a treat for armchair psychoanalysts and book clubs alike.
Kirkus Discoveries, Nielsen Business Media, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!