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By Nicole Dieker

IR Rating:
Nicole Dieker’s LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, AND MURDER is a well written and highly entertaining mystery novel and part two in the Larkin Day Mystery trilogy.
IR Approved
Book two in the Larkin Day Mystery Series finds amiable amateur detective Larkin Day trying to crack a case of murder by social media.

“Never thought I’d be asked to solve the murder of someone who isn’t actually dead,” says amateur sleuth Larkin Day when the details of her new case become apparent. Larkin lives in Pratincola, Iowa. She’s set her heart on being a successful private eye. As she explains to a prospective client, her unique selling point is that she’s the only private eye in Pratincola. But she has already solved one case and is on the hunt for the next when fitness instructor Bonnie Cooper comes to find her and tells her that she has been murdered. Turns out Bonnie’s murder is a virtual murder, her online presence has been erased, her carefully curated social media pages, her email account all gone. As Bonnie tells Larkin, she is “about as murdered as you can be without being dead.”

What follows is a highly entertaining, and often very funny, “murder” mystery as Nicole Dieker’s thoroughly likeable heroine attempts to not only crack the case but also juggle her romantic relationship with her “maybe-sorta boyfriend” Ed Jackson and find out who’s trying to force her mother out of a job. Most of the characters in LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, AND MURDER were featured in Ode to Murder, the first book of the series, but for new readers Dieker skillfully provides a brief catch-up on previous events as Larkin, with her body “like a triple-scoop ice cream cone”, reluctantly takes an exercise class. And while the amateur sleuthing is always engaging it is often secondary to the beautifully modulated character drama of Larkin and her coterie.

LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, AND MURDER wittily skewers the obsession with phones, with social media, with the relentless hunger for “likes” and exposure. When Bonnie is explaining her situation she ensures that Larkin records everything properly, making sure she introduces herself to “the audience”, just in case the tapes end up on a future podcast. And a key lead in the investigation comes from Larkin trawling other people’s endless selfies and discovering a potential “second Bonnie” in the background of one snap taken in the gym class. Though never fully examined here this idea of the double, the suggestion that a virtual, online life could have more value than a real life, lurks in the background throughout the novel.

Nicole Dieker’s LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, AND MURDER is a well written and highly entertaining mystery novel and part two in the Larkin Day Mystery trilogy.

~Kent Lane for IndieReader

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