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by Jeffrey Cohen
Berkley, October 2007
304 pages
ISBN: 042521799X

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Elliot Freed is divorced and getting alimony, but uses the money he got when his book was made into a movie to buy a broken-down, old-time movie theater. Because he adores old movies and comedies in particular, he calls the place Comedy Tonight.

With his father's help, he's still fixing up the decrepit theater and hopes that the place will soon start to attract people, but for now he's happy with the small audience he gets.

One night, after a showing of Young Frankenstein, one member of the audience doesn't laugh at all already a clue that something is desperately wrong. The man remains in his seat after everyone else leaves and it turns out that he's dead. We find out that he died from eating his popcorn. No, the cholesterol of the real hot butter didn't kill him the popcorn butter was topped with powdered blood pressure medication, which overdosed the man, Vincent Ansella, and killed him

Elliot can't help but take the murder personally. After all, somebody actually planned to kill someone in his theater using his freshly popped popcorn! Also, the more he finds out about the dead man, Vincent Ansella, the more Vincent sounds just like Elliot. Though his ex-wife and the lovely female cop on the case tells him not to get involved in the investigation, Elliot feels he must find the truth about who murdered Vincent. And then when the basement of the theater is found filled with illegal copies of a film and one of Elliot's employees goes on the lam, he's even more involved.

SOME LIKE IT HOT-BUTTERED is a light, funny murder mystery. Elliot is a rather immature middle-aged man who has been extremely lucky and is financially secure with very little effort on his part. He plays at theater owner and even if it falls through, he'll be fine. His father is still alive and well and is a lovely man who seems to admire his son no matter what.

Elliot is a usual amateur sleuth because he has no contacts in the police department and no knowledge or history in investigating anything. Elliot only knows as much about solving crimes as he's seen in old-time pictures on the silver screen or on the small screen of TV. Mostly he asks questions of the people involved and the case solves itself.

SOME LIKE IT HOT-BUTTERED is nicely written, humorous cozy, with a male lead, for a change. It's a fast read and makes for a fine afternoon's entertainment. It looks like the start of a wonderful new series.

Reviewed by A. L. Katz, August 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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