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How to Murder a Millionaire

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Nora Blackbird, society columnist and down-and-almost-out former debutante, reclaims her place within Philadelphia's elite when she stumbles upon the murdered body of a millionaire art collector. "MY parents blew the country for a sunny resort that catered to American tax evaders, leaving the family art collection to my sister Emma, the furniture to my sister Libby. They ga Nora Blackbird, society columnist and down-and-almost-out former debutante, reclaims her place within Philadelphia's elite when she stumbles upon the murdered body of a millionaire art collector. "MY parents blew the country for a sunny resort that catered to American tax evaders, leaving the family art collection to my sister Emma, the furniture to my sister Libby. They gave me the land--and a property tax bill for two million dollars. Which is why I, Nora Blackbird, a former socialite who never really held a job in all of my thirty-one years, found myself in dire need of a paycheck. . ." Now Nora has a job as a society page columnist for a Philadelphia paper. This down—and almost,—out former debutante is happy to reclaim her place within the city's elite. Until her first party assignment, when she stumbles upon the murdered body of the host—a millionaire art collector and old family friend. Her sisters—sexy, hard-edged Emma and flaky earth mother Libby, who has her hands full with husband number two and four kids—only complicate matters as Nora investigates. And meanwhile the son of a rumored New Jersey crime boss is pursuing her with bone-melting come-ons she can barely resist. Priorities, Nora, think priorities...


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Nora Blackbird, society columnist and down-and-almost-out former debutante, reclaims her place within Philadelphia's elite when she stumbles upon the murdered body of a millionaire art collector. "MY parents blew the country for a sunny resort that catered to American tax evaders, leaving the family art collection to my sister Emma, the furniture to my sister Libby. They ga Nora Blackbird, society columnist and down-and-almost-out former debutante, reclaims her place within Philadelphia's elite when she stumbles upon the murdered body of a millionaire art collector. "MY parents blew the country for a sunny resort that catered to American tax evaders, leaving the family art collection to my sister Emma, the furniture to my sister Libby. They gave me the land--and a property tax bill for two million dollars. Which is why I, Nora Blackbird, a former socialite who never really held a job in all of my thirty-one years, found myself in dire need of a paycheck. . ." Now Nora has a job as a society page columnist for a Philadelphia paper. This down—and almost,—out former debutante is happy to reclaim her place within the city's elite. Until her first party assignment, when she stumbles upon the murdered body of the host—a millionaire art collector and old family friend. Her sisters—sexy, hard-edged Emma and flaky earth mother Libby, who has her hands full with husband number two and four kids—only complicate matters as Nora investigates. And meanwhile the son of a rumored New Jersey crime boss is pursuing her with bone-melting come-ons she can barely resist. Priorities, Nora, think priorities...

30 review for How to Murder a Millionaire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    There's the beginnings of something good, here. The writing is a bit awkward and the setting is a little vague (which is a shame as I suspect that Philadelphia could be quite charming), but the main character is sweet and an interesting mixture of brave and vulnerable. I had a tough time engaging with the book for a while. Nora and her interactions with Michael kept me going, though, and I'm glad I stuck it out. And the mystery worked, so there's that. I'm a little fascinated with Nora, truth to t There's the beginnings of something good, here. The writing is a bit awkward and the setting is a little vague (which is a shame as I suspect that Philadelphia could be quite charming), but the main character is sweet and an interesting mixture of brave and vulnerable. I had a tough time engaging with the book for a while. Nora and her interactions with Michael kept me going, though, and I'm glad I stuck it out. And the mystery worked, so there's that. I'm a little fascinated with Nora, truth to tell. She's one of those women who invoke male care without asking (and without really needing it). She depends on it, to an extent, but not in a way that makes her weak, needy, or manipulative. This is an incredibly hard thing to pull of in a novel where we're in her head—mostly because in order for it to be unconscious, we only see it in the reactions of the other characters and in her fundamental assumptions about action and motivation. I really liked this aspect of her character because you can see that she's allowed herself to be weak in the past but is done being that person. That evidence of past growth and its effect on who and where she is was fascinating to me. Add a macho guy with a hint of bad-boy who instinctually, even casually, cares for her and is assured enough to recognize and support her strongest self and you have a relationship I just ate up. And all without even a hint of alpha posturing that so many authors would lavish into such a setup. The writing and setting were weak enough that it's a wobbly three stars, even as fascinated as I was with Nora. But in a hopeful way that drives me to wanting to try at least the next in the series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This started out a little slow for me, but the characters and writing were o.k. and the setting was one with which I'm familiar. I kept reading, and I'm glad I did. Nora Blackbird is one of three sisters left behind when their formerly-millionaire, tax-evading parents flee the country after flittering away their fortune. Nora is left with the family home and property, the house now falling apart and a $2 million tax bill on the property. With no money left in the coffers (and none of the furnitur This started out a little slow for me, but the characters and writing were o.k. and the setting was one with which I'm familiar. I kept reading, and I'm glad I did. Nora Blackbird is one of three sisters left behind when their formerly-millionaire, tax-evading parents flee the country after flittering away their fortune. Nora is left with the family home and property, the house now falling apart and a $2 million tax bill on the property. With no money left in the coffers (and none of the furniture or artwork left to her to use to pay off debts [those went to the sisters]), Nora is forced to get a job to begin paying her bills. This was the annoying part that almost made me stop reading. However, once we got past that, things began to pick up. Although the police use Nora for her connections to the upper echelon that has been affected by the murder, she's well aware of it, which made it a little easier for me to go along with. It also provided a reasonable excuse as to why she'd go off and investigate on her own when she firmly believed that the police were after the wrong suspect. It was still a little slow going, however, until her sisters became involved. Once they were in danger, Nora's actions became more believable and engrossing. In the second part of the book the romance aspect picked up as well. Michael Abruzzo, introduced early on as a shady-ish, son-of-a-crime-boss character -- and the obvious romantic interest -- was developed much more as the book went on. One of the things I liked most was that he was the one who wanted to get the police involved when it became clear that Nora was in danger despite the fact that he knew he'd be hassled himself as a result. What I had a harder time with was Nora's complete lack of anger at her parents. Flaky, uninvolved parents are one thing, but to leave their three daughters holding the bag and having no remorse whatsoever... Although I think it was meant to be humorous, I didn't find that funny at all. That said, I will definitely seek out the other books in this series and see how it goes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    The cover of this book was misleading... in a good way. The title and cover image give the impression that this is going to be another cozy mystery following in the vein of Janet Evanovich or some other ditzy, fashion-obsessed heroine. On the contrary, I found that the characters were more well-rounded and the story grew steadily with more complex details. The author is good with a phrase as well! It takes place among the Philadelphia upper-crust and features a smart, thoughtful heroine. Her occa The cover of this book was misleading... in a good way. The title and cover image give the impression that this is going to be another cozy mystery following in the vein of Janet Evanovich or some other ditzy, fashion-obsessed heroine. On the contrary, I found that the characters were more well-rounded and the story grew steadily with more complex details. The author is good with a phrase as well! It takes place among the Philadelphia upper-crust and features a smart, thoughtful heroine. Her occasion raids in her grandmother's classic vintage wardrobe feel like a forced detail to make this book seem appealing to the average cozy mystery fan. I am hoping that as the series progresses, these details will recede and the book-loving, horse-riding, art-restoring aspects of the Blackbird sisters will come forward as they are far more unique aspects than yet another book with "fabulous clothes and fabulous parties".

  4. 5 out of 5

    Connie N.

    I liked this a lot better than I thought I would. It started out a bit slow, I thought, and I wasn't all that excited about Nora Blackbird, the main character. But her personality developed very well throughout the book, right along with the search for the murderer. I was kept guessing until close to the end (I feel as though I say that a lot!). I've read several cozies lately, by authors new to me, but this is my favorite so far. Looking forward to the next in the series. I liked this a lot better than I thought I would. It started out a bit slow, I thought, and I wasn't all that excited about Nora Blackbird, the main character. But her personality developed very well throughout the book, right along with the search for the murderer. I was kept guessing until close to the end (I feel as though I say that a lot!). I've read several cozies lately, by authors new to me, but this is my favorite so far. Looking forward to the next in the series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Latisha Bramlett

    3.5 stars. I liked this book. It was good and the characters were likable. Although, I wanted to slap Lizzie and Emma. But, I sometimes want to slap my own sisters so I guess it is a believable sisterly relationship. Lol... I just wish there was a bit more action. It seemed a bit light to me. I am interested enough to read the others eventually.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    My mom accidentally ordered one of the books from later in the series from her book club. She liked it enough to continue with the series and as she always does, sent the books to me when she finished. I like to start series from the beginning so I ordered this one from Paperback Swap. Nora Blackbird and her sisters, Emma and Libby, all three of whom are in their 30's and widowed (though one is remarried), grew up among Philadelphia's elite. And then their parents decided to squander the family f My mom accidentally ordered one of the books from later in the series from her book club. She liked it enough to continue with the series and as she always does, sent the books to me when she finished. I like to start series from the beginning so I ordered this one from Paperback Swap. Nora Blackbird and her sisters, Emma and Libby, all three of whom are in their 30's and widowed (though one is remarried), grew up among Philadelphia's elite. And then their parents decided to squander the family fortune and flee the country. Emma was left with the family art collection, Libby the furniture (which made no sense as Libby's the artist in the family) and Nora the family farm-complete with a $2 million dollar bill for delinquent taxes. In an effort to pay off the taxes, Nora sells part of the land to the son of a reputed mob boss, which doesn't go over well with her sisters, who don't seem to grasp (or care) Nora is left with a huge debt to pay. They're just mad the land, which had been in the family for over 200 years, is now a muscle car lot. Nora also has turned to an old (and elderly) family friend, Rory Pendergast, who owns a local newspaper "The Intelligencer" for a job and is given one covering events for the society page, despite not having any practical job experience. Covering a party in Rory's home, she discovers he has been murdered. The detective in charge of the investigation, Detective Bloom, thinks her connections to "that world" can be helpful so she's unofficially enlisted to help with the case and of course, solves it in the end. The inexperienced, non-law enforcement crime solver reminded me of Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson, who is somehow smarter than the detectives in the small town which has seemingly become the murder capital of Minnesota. (Another similarity is they both have two sisters). I'm finding that series has become stale so I'm hoping this one doesn't as well. I guess this book was supposed to be funny. Maybe I'm just in a blah mood, but I didn't find it funny at all. It was just ho hum. (Though I did find a scene in which an elderly couple have a bunch of puzzles in various stages of completion scattered around their solarium quite amusing as that is totally going to be me when I'm 80). I honestly can't put my finger on what I didn't like about it. The characters were well enough developed and it's obvious the mob son is meant to be the love interest for Nora. It was obvious from the beginning the main suspect wasn't going to turn out to be the killer in the end, but I got the impression that was supposed to be the case. The book moved along at an okay pace; it just didn't wow me. I will give credit for this: I thought I had it figured out about halfway through the book but I was wrong.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Leggitt

    I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through the rarified upper crust air of Philadelphia. Nancy Martin has crafted a delightful mystery--actually the first in the Blackbird Sisters Mysteries. In this debut episode, Nora Blackbird, society columnist and down-and-almost-out former debutante, stumbles upon the murdered body of a millionaire art collector. Rory Pendergast was her friend and when the police zero in on another friend--Rory's long-time companion Peach Treese--it falls to Nora to set matters I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through the rarified upper crust air of Philadelphia. Nancy Martin has crafted a delightful mystery--actually the first in the Blackbird Sisters Mysteries. In this debut episode, Nora Blackbird, society columnist and down-and-almost-out former debutante, stumbles upon the murdered body of a millionaire art collector. Rory Pendergast was her friend and when the police zero in on another friend--Rory's long-time companion Peach Treese--it falls to Nora to set matters straight. The writing is crisp and contemporary, completely in keeping with the affluent status. There's a lot of art featured, as well as homes of the beautiful people and exquisite depictions of expensive clothing. It's a lighthearted glimpse not to be taken too seriously, but definitely to be relished. Colorful descriptions such as "she looked like a dominatrix dressed for church" and "Audrey was considered the lowest rung on the Weymouth family ladder of success" make for humorous reading. I'll be checking on the next episode of The Blackbird Sisters Mysteries very soon.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I had very high hopes for this book. Love the title, love the premise (3 riches-to-rags sisters start solving mysteries). But in many ways, it really failed to live up. The mystery was okay...but the solution didn't turn out to be half as clever as it could have been. And some of the red herring storylines were weird, and not particularly palatable, to be honest (senior citizens all wrapped up in torrid affairs and erotic art). I didn't find a lot of humor here, either, which was also disappointi I had very high hopes for this book. Love the title, love the premise (3 riches-to-rags sisters start solving mysteries). But in many ways, it really failed to live up. The mystery was okay...but the solution didn't turn out to be half as clever as it could have been. And some of the red herring storylines were weird, and not particularly palatable, to be honest (senior citizens all wrapped up in torrid affairs and erotic art). I didn't find a lot of humor here, either, which was also disappointing. There was nothing particulary snappy or interesting about the writer's voice. I'll probably give the series one more chance because it seems to get such rave reviews. But if I don't find the next book terribly compelling, I'll be moving on.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi Janssen

    Love this series!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Cute book by Nancy Martin... kept me interested and I love a good stylish mystery.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    Nora Blackbird comes from old, Philadelphia money. The problem is that her parents have blown through the family fortune and then promptly skipped the country to escape tax evasion charges. That leaves Nora, her older sister, Libby, and her younger sister, Emma, to put on brave faces back home. Faced with having to pay the back taxes on the 100 acre family homestead, Nora gets a job writing for the society pages at the local newspaper only to run head first into murder on her very first assignme Nora Blackbird comes from old, Philadelphia money. The problem is that her parents have blown through the family fortune and then promptly skipped the country to escape tax evasion charges. That leaves Nora, her older sister, Libby, and her younger sister, Emma, to put on brave faces back home. Faced with having to pay the back taxes on the 100 acre family homestead, Nora gets a job writing for the society pages at the local newspaper only to run head first into murder on her very first assignment. What happens next is a humorous and entertaining romp through the halls of high society as Nora puts on her amateur sleuthing cap in order to navigate the pitfalls of solving a murder while never losing her manners. Some of those pitfalls include well-meaning but sometimes exasperating sisters and a certain hunky man's man from the wrong side of the law. Michael "Mick" Abruzzo was born into a crime family and even though he claims to be making his own way in the legitimate business world, Nora can never quite be sure what his angle is. One thing is certain though, he's got his sights set on Nora. This was an overall, light and enjoyable read coupling a little mystery and a little romance. It may become a new guilty pleasure for when I need a break from darker books/stories. We all need that once in awhile.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ronica

    Nora Blackbird is a down on luck socialite, who just inherited 2 million dollar tax bill on her family's farmhouse. For the first time in her life Nora has to get a job, but she never expected it would be this exciting. Rory Pendergast a dear family friend, offers Nora a job writing for his newspaper The Intelligencer. It is at the party for the paper that Nora discovers Rory sprawled out on the floor of his bedroom dead; What's a girl to do? This is was a very good start the series, I accidently Nora Blackbird is a down on luck socialite, who just inherited 2 million dollar tax bill on her family's farmhouse. For the first time in her life Nora has to get a job, but she never expected it would be this exciting. Rory Pendergast a dear family friend, offers Nora a job writing for his newspaper The Intelligencer. It is at the party for the paper that Nora discovers Rory sprawled out on the floor of his bedroom dead; What's a girl to do? This is was a very good start the series, I accidently read Have Your Cake and Kill Him too before realizing it was not the first in the series. I found all the sisters to be delightfully funny and I especially liked Nora's spunk. I will be reading more from this author in the future.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vickie Fisher

    How to Murder a Millionaire (Blackbird Sisters Mystery #1) is an enjoyable read from start to finish. If you enjoy murder with a splash of humor, then this is the series for you. The Blackbird sisters are each unique and keep you wondering what will they do next. The other characters are people you would like to have around even if it was just to prove that your family and friends aren’t that bad after all. I loved the plot twist, and was totally taken by surprise by who the murderer turned out How to Murder a Millionaire (Blackbird Sisters Mystery #1) is an enjoyable read from start to finish. If you enjoy murder with a splash of humor, then this is the series for you. The Blackbird sisters are each unique and keep you wondering what will they do next. The other characters are people you would like to have around even if it was just to prove that your family and friends aren’t that bad after all. I loved the plot twist, and was totally taken by surprise by who the murderer turned out to be. If you have never read this series, you are missing out. Nancy Martin, never fails to disappoint.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Krazykiwi

    A lovely start to a mystery series, and exactly the kind of light reading I needed at the exact moment I picked it up. So it might have gained a half star for being perfectly fitted for the moment. I loved most of the characters, particularly Nora the protagonist, and her slightly but not overdone snarky outlook on life. I liked that there's no romance triangle in sight, and I liked that I totally didn't see the murderer coming (but props to me, I did suspect an eventual accomplice.) Sadly my li A lovely start to a mystery series, and exactly the kind of light reading I needed at the exact moment I picked it up. So it might have gained a half star for being perfectly fitted for the moment. I loved most of the characters, particularly Nora the protagonist, and her slightly but not overdone snarky outlook on life. I liked that there's no romance triangle in sight, and I liked that I totally didn't see the murderer coming (but props to me, I did suspect an eventual accomplice.) Sadly my library seems to have a fairly random selection of these books, or I'm pretty sure I'd just have got them all and read them end to end.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    WELL, AS YOU CAN SEE ,I HAD TO GIVE THE PITTSBURGH WRITER ANOTHER CHANCE. THIS TIME IT IS THE BLACKBIRD SISTERS MYSTERY OUT OF PHILLY. MUCH BETTER THAN THE OTHER SERIES. BETTER CHARACTERS,ETC. EASY READ- A LITTLE MYSTERY, A LITTLE ROMANCE AND A PLETHORA OF KOOKY CHARACTERS. CAN READ IN A SITTING AND DO NOT NEED TO THINK=PERFECT DURING MUSIC LESSONS. AGAIN, IF YOU LIKE EVANOVICH'S WRITING ,YOU WILL PROBABLY ENJOY MARTIN'S. WELL, AS YOU CAN SEE ,I HAD TO GIVE THE PITTSBURGH WRITER ANOTHER CHANCE. THIS TIME IT IS THE BLACKBIRD SISTERS MYSTERY OUT OF PHILLY. MUCH BETTER THAN THE OTHER SERIES. BETTER CHARACTERS,ETC. EASY READ- A LITTLE MYSTERY, A LITTLE ROMANCE AND A PLETHORA OF KOOKY CHARACTERS. CAN READ IN A SITTING AND DO NOT NEED TO THINK=PERFECT DURING MUSIC LESSONS. AGAIN, IF YOU LIKE EVANOVICH'S WRITING ,YOU WILL PROBABLY ENJOY MARTIN'S.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is the first book in the Blackbird sisters series and it was a lot of fun. I didn't see the ending coming and I always like when that happens. The characters were fun to get to know but I think there is still a lot of growing to do and I look forward to seeing it in the coming books. This is the first book in the Blackbird sisters series and it was a lot of fun. I didn't see the ending coming and I always like when that happens. The characters were fun to get to know but I think there is still a lot of growing to do and I look forward to seeing it in the coming books.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lizz

    I found out about this series (!!) while doing another review where someone mentioned it. Lots of quirky characters and just a hint of romance to these. Those of you who don't like a lot of sex mixed in with your mysteries would enjoy them especially. Lots of fun. I found out about this series (!!) while doing another review where someone mentioned it. Lots of quirky characters and just a hint of romance to these. Those of you who don't like a lot of sex mixed in with your mysteries would enjoy them especially. Lots of fun.

  18. 5 out of 5

    cloudyskye

    Not so bad at all. Nora is a bit like Stephanie Plum, the posh Philadelphia version. And there's a yummy Italian beau, too, of whom I expect to learn more. All in all, it kept me interested and I plan to read on. Not so bad at all. Nora is a bit like Stephanie Plum, the posh Philadelphia version. And there's a yummy Italian beau, too, of whom I expect to learn more. All in all, it kept me interested and I plan to read on.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Leanne

    I place this firmly in my "Brain Candy" file. A fun read, likable characters, and following the cookie cutter style of the cozy. It's not great literature, but we don't always WANT great literature, do we? I place this firmly in my "Brain Candy" file. A fun read, likable characters, and following the cookie cutter style of the cozy. It's not great literature, but we don't always WANT great literature, do we?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    I loved the book. Nancy Martin has a wonderful voice and kept my interest all through the story. And I didn't know who done it until the end. I loved the book. Nancy Martin has a wonderful voice and kept my interest all through the story. And I didn't know who done it until the end.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mel W

    This was a fun read. I like a bit more romance with my mysteries but what there was picqued my interest enough to search out the rest of the books in this series. 3.5 stars

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Martin wrote a witty, interesting mystery. Upper class characters who have lost their money and sometimes their minds - fun read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz Bohan

    Couldn't finish it ... Kinda stupid Couldn't finish it ... Kinda stupid

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    this series is so fun. love the sisters, the clothes, the rando mafia lover.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Ann Librarian

    Written by the prolific Nancy Martin, the Blackbird Sisters Mystery series is set in Philadelphia and has a great cast of unique characters. The main character, Nora Blackbird, comes from an old, wealthy family and lives in the rather dilapidated family home. Her parents, apparently not good money managers, have left the country, leaving her the property, land and a two million dollar tax bill. Finding herself needing to work to make ends meet, Nora raids her grandmother’s vintage clothing cache Written by the prolific Nancy Martin, the Blackbird Sisters Mystery series is set in Philadelphia and has a great cast of unique characters. The main character, Nora Blackbird, comes from an old, wealthy family and lives in the rather dilapidated family home. Her parents, apparently not good money managers, have left the country, leaving her the property, land and a two million dollar tax bill. Finding herself needing to work to make ends meet, Nora raids her grandmother’s vintage clothing cache in the attic and goes to work as a society page columnist for a local paper, using her connections to gain entrance to the upper crust establishment society gatherings. Her sisters, wild child Emma, and flaky, earth mother, Libby, round out the quirky cast. On Nora’s first assignment, she unwittingly stumbles across a murder: a millionaire art collector who is an old family friend. As she investigates the crime, using resources she didn’t know she had, she crosses paths with a variety of intriguing characters, including the son of a rumored New Jersey crime boss, who shows more than a little interest in the down-on-her-luck blue blood. Currently, there are ten titles in the series, and a two-book spin-off series about a relative of Mick Abruzzo, Nora’s love interest. I’ve read all these mysteries and have enjoyed the experience and characters.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    I mistakenly read book #2 before I read How to Murder a Millionaire. After reading #2, I knew I wanted to continue on with this series. I had book #1 in my bookcase all along without realizing it. I liked #2 better. I gave it a 3-1/2 stars (if I could give it that 1/2 star). This one....let's just say, I liked #2 a lot better. My rating is 2-1/2 stars. I didn't like the ending. I didn't like the killer's (a surprise of who it was) reasoning for murder; I thought it was quite lame, so it went fro I mistakenly read book #2 before I read How to Murder a Millionaire. After reading #2, I knew I wanted to continue on with this series. I had book #1 in my bookcase all along without realizing it. I liked #2 better. I gave it a 3-1/2 stars (if I could give it that 1/2 star). This one....let's just say, I liked #2 a lot better. My rating is 2-1/2 stars. I didn't like the ending. I didn't like the killer's (a surprise of who it was) reasoning for murder; I thought it was quite lame, so it went from another 3-1/2 stars to a 2-1/2. It's a cozy mystery series that has some laughs in it. It seems like there is only one murder per book and Nora, a gossip columnist for The Philadelphia Intelligencer paper, sets out to find out who the killer is. Nora has two sisters who add spice to the story for some good laughs, and chaos to Nora's life. Plus there's Mike, the "bad boy" for a potential love interest, which is obviously gonna happen. I'm not quite sure why the book is called, How to Murder a Millionaire? I think I would had called it a different name as it didn't seem so fitting for the story. If I come across anymore of these books in my second hand book stores, I'll be happy to continue reading this series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    A promising start to a series! The characters were interesting without being clichés, and they all worked well together like real people, not like characters chosen to make a book interesting. The main character has two sisters who are very different from her and each other, and they seem to get along like real sisters do. Great descriptions, and interesting premise--Nora is a socialite who needs money, so she gets a job reporting about parties and people she grew up with. She's an insider in the A promising start to a series! The characters were interesting without being clichés, and they all worked well together like real people, not like characters chosen to make a book interesting. The main character has two sisters who are very different from her and each other, and they seem to get along like real sisters do. Great descriptions, and interesting premise--Nora is a socialite who needs money, so she gets a job reporting about parties and people she grew up with. She's an insider in the exclusive world, so when a murder happens at a party she's attending, she's leagues ahead of the police in knowing who to ask what. And for once the main character wasn't a suspect! There was a bit of a love triangle here, but not much was made of it (at least in this book). After initial hesitancy, she ends up working well and closely with the one I think she'll end up with. But not TOO closely, since it's just book 1. There was a subplot about naughty art that tangled the whole issue, which was an unusual inclusion, but handled fairly delicately. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan Gottfried

    Okay, let's start with the disclaimer: I've known Nancy for as long as long as I've been a member of the Pittsburgh writing community. That's a LONG time. It might even be prior to this book's publication; it probably is. So why am I reading it and reviewing it NOW? Because I'm an idiot who never read it until now. This mystery is FUN. It's everything Nancy. It's easy, it's effortless, it makes sense, it's absurd without being absurd. Nora's a great character who's so easy to like and spend time w Okay, let's start with the disclaimer: I've known Nancy for as long as long as I've been a member of the Pittsburgh writing community. That's a LONG time. It might even be prior to this book's publication; it probably is. So why am I reading it and reviewing it NOW? Because I'm an idiot who never read it until now. This mystery is FUN. It's everything Nancy. It's easy, it's effortless, it makes sense, it's absurd without being absurd. Nora's a great character who's so easy to like and spend time with. She's a hot mess without being a Hot Mess. Michael's steady and mysterious... as I'm typing, the comparisons to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series are becoming more and more obvious, but this is low-key where Stephanie isn't. It's as refined as the Bucks County people who populate the book. I've been reading the series out of order for EVER, which is why I decided to go back, start at the beginning, and fill in the gaps. I'm so glad I did.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Years ago, in a short story compilation, Drop Dead Blond, I had read about the Blackbird Sisters. I've been wanting to read more and finally had the time. It's an entertaining mystery set among the wealthy and wealthier in a town near Philadelphia, told from the point of view of a once wealthy socialite who is now struggling to pay living expenses. There is a bit of humor, but it's the characters that make the story. The three sisters are rather...odd? How about not quite able to deal with the r Years ago, in a short story compilation, Drop Dead Blond, I had read about the Blackbird Sisters. I've been wanting to read more and finally had the time. It's an entertaining mystery set among the wealthy and wealthier in a town near Philadelphia, told from the point of view of a once wealthy socialite who is now struggling to pay living expenses. There is a bit of humor, but it's the characters that make the story. The three sisters are rather...odd? How about not quite able to deal with the real world? Nora is the exception, thank goodness, and does have the brains and some common sense that her sisters seem to lack. I'm looking forward to reading more in this series!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marta

    Nora blackbird and her sisters are all widowed, and all picking up the pieces of their lives after their parents blew the family fortune and waltzed away to the tropics. Lacking any better prospects, Nora starts to write for society column and comes across the dead body of a dearfamily friend at a party she is covering. The setup was good, the mystery not obvious and yet plausible, but the life of Nora with her two sisters is what really set this apart for me. This is a fun series. I'll be back fo Nora blackbird and her sisters are all widowed, and all picking up the pieces of their lives after their parents blew the family fortune and waltzed away to the tropics. Lacking any better prospects, Nora starts to write for society column and comes across the dead body of a dearfamily friend at a party she is covering. The setup was good, the mystery not obvious and yet plausible, but the life of Nora with her two sisters is what really set this apart for me. This is a fun series. I'll be back for more.

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