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Murder By Fireworks

(A Kay Driscoll Mystery Book 3)

Written by Susan Bernhardt


Wedding bells are in the air, and so is murder.

Kay Driscoll's son's wedding reception for two hundred guests is in her backyard. As if that wasn't enough, a precocious and troubled twelve-year-old is foisted on her two days before the wedding. When the happy day arrives, one of the guests disrupts the event and is asked to leave: a womanizing member of Kay's book club.

A few days later, after a Fourth of July fireworks show, he is found dead on the beach. Kay and her ever-present friends, Elizabeth and Deirdre, investigate the death, which at first is declared a suicide. They believe this is a cover-up and go about to prove their theory, an arduous task because the potential suspects are many, and few (if any) will regret the victim's death.


Other Published Works:

The Ginseng Conspiracy - Murder Under The Tree - October 31st - Midsummer - John and Madeleine


Reviews of Murder By Fireworks

Bernhardt's creates "fireworks" in her latest book. - The cozy is alive and well in Susan Bernhardt's Murder by Fireworks. Alive is perhaps not the right word since not one but two murders take place in what is the third book of Bernhardt's Kay Driscoll series.

Although she had already established herself as a force to reckon with, first with The Ginseng Conspiracy and then with Murder Under the Tree, in Murder by Fireworks Bernhardt reaches new heights. The first victim is a person from Kay's book club who's widely disliked, and Bernhardt takes full advantage of the opportunity by adding layer upon layer of suspense as the list of suspects grows. The tension explodes with a second murder and calm is restored at last when the enigma is revealed in a surprise ending.

Although Bernhardt's is known for plots that keep the reader engaged throughout, her greatest strength is in her descriptions. When she invites us to her son's wedding and then her best friend Elizabeth's own nuptials, she uses the brushstrokes of an artist to bring us into the scene; we are no longer a reader but one of the guests. However, laced into her descriptions of floral arrangements whose fragrance we can smell, brides' dresses whose texture we can feel, and canapés that make our mouths water, there is plenty of foreshadowing, reminding us that not all is as it seems in Sudbury Falls where Kay lives, that behind the beauty of the moment lurks evil.

She unleashes her full creative power during a kayaking adventure Kay, Deirdre (one of Kay's loyal friends) and two others go on. Readers who are ambivalent about kayaking will have their concerns validated and will vow never to go on such an expedition in the future. The rushing of the water turning over Kay's kayak, the breath by breath account of Kay's ordeal are depicted with such realism, we feel we're drowning in one if those rapids. Like Kay, we beg to get out there alive. And when we do we sigh with relief.

Murder by Fireworks is by far the best in Bernhardt's oeuvre to date. If you haven't already obtained a copy already, I highly recommend you do. You are in for a treat. And most of all, you'll never look at fireworks the same.

* * * *

All Kay Driscoll wants to do is provide a beautiful wedding for her son and future daughter-in-law, attend the much hoped for wedding of her friend Elizabeth, and prepare for a romantic trip to Italy with her husband, Phil. Once again, murder finds Kay!

A member of Kay's book club, a self-described "Casanova" named James, is murdered during the July 4th fireworks display at the beach. Janey, a 12 year old with "sticky fingers" finds a vital clue to the murder that puts her in danger. Kay's friends Elizabeth and Deidre are there to help and are well meaning however, in this case, they may lead the killer to Kay. Marissa and her wonderful patesserie, the place where delicious food and desserts are served, also continues to double as the "covert ops" planning site for the "team".

Kay has her hands full in this third book in the series - matching wits with a murderer, trying to keep the "junior Bonnie sans Clyde" out of juvenile hall, keeping from throttling Phil, making sure the weddings "march" on, while getting some interesting personal news from a crime solving colleague in Colorado - all make for an entertaining read!

I 'm looking forward to the next Kay Driscoll adventure!

* * * *

Another excellent cozy mystery by Susan Bernhardt. I already enjoyed the first two books of the Kay Driscoll series and was not disappointed by the third. The characters are lovingly created and you feel right at home with them and their daily life. The murder is interwoven in the daily activities and worries of the protagonist and keeps the reader involved and curious. I can't wait for the fourth book to be written.

* * * *

Ms. Bernhardt's newest cozy mystery, Murder by Fireworks is full of twists and turns as Kay and her friends, Deirdre and Elizabeth once again get themselves involved in solving a murder. The storyline kept me wondering what was around the corner. I love the way Ms. Bernhardt spins her tale through detailed description of events that occurred in the story, placing the reader right in the scene. This book is a must-read and is a great addition to the other two mysteries. I hope there will be more mysteries to come! Brava!

* * * *

A breezy and smart read that is continuously engaging. I enjoyed the mix of celebrations and intrigue, and of course the comfortable intimacy of Sudbury Falls and Kay Driscoll's circle. Susan Bernhardt has brought out the unpredictability of life (and plot) nicely in this addition to her truly cozy series. Recommended read.

* * * *

Weddings and mysteries are two of my favorite things. This book weaves them both together beautifully. Having read the other two Kay Driscoll books, I was happy to be back in Sudbury Falls, following Kay and her friends around town as they solved another "whodunit." As with the others in this series, this book combines compelling characters, danger, humor, and delicious food descriptions to keep you turning those pages. A new character, Janey, is a nice addition to the cast. With the door left open for further adventures, I'm hoping to see more Kay Driscoll in the future.

* * * *

A great page turner - I just finished reading the book and I really enjoyed it! I especially liked the addition of a young sleuth in the making, Janey. Although she can be a stinker sometime, there is hope for her after all.

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Mystery Lovers Delight - Murder by Fireworks is the third book in the Kay Driscoll series. If Kay Driscoll lived in my town, I would love to be her friend, although it could be dangerous. Still, Deidre and Elizabeth love to help her solve crimes. Kay is a brave woman to go after murderers. I'd be hiding under the covers if it were me. Ms. Bernhardt pens a story filled with twists and turns and just enough description to keep the action going.. The investigation is explained so well and it's easy to follow. I was drawn into the story and found myself rooting for Kay to get the guilty party. If you're into mysteries, this one is for you.

* * * *

Just finished this book this morning. Another excellent Kay Driscoll mystery. I'm getting kind of worried about Kay, though! She won't listen to her husband, Phil, when he begs her to stop her amateur sleuthing, which has caused her many injuries, and close-calls on her life. I was very glad to see the introduction of "Janey". I do hope she is a continuing character in the series. I can't help but feel that Susan draws heavily on her family, and her own life experiences for her books' plots, and it works! Really well! Can't wait for the next adventure. Well done.

* * * *

Susan Bernhardt just keeps getting better! This is the 3rd book in the Kay Driscoll series and my personal preference is to read series books in order. That said, this book can easily be read as a stand-alone. A new 12-year old young lady is introduced and is a great addition to the story. I hope to see her return in future books as well. There's a lot going on, including 2 murders, but Ms. Bernhardt ties it all together and the ending was a surprise to me. I highly recommend this book as an addition to your library.

* * * *

Murder by Fireworks is the 3rd Kay Driscoll mystery. I could not put it down. The plot and murder suspects were intertwined and mostly unpredictable. Kay has the tenacity to question not only immediate suspects, but the chief of police and her closest friends. Janey moves into the family and adds to the excitement of trying to solve the murder of an unlikeable acquaintance. I highly recommend this book and the first 2 books--The Ginseng Conspiracy and Murder Under the Tree.

* * * *

Fireworks from beginning to end. - Susan Bernhardt has really out done herself on this book. This is a must for anyone who is a cozy reader and has been married for more than a minute because you will relate to Kay trying to prepare the perfect wedding for her oldest son and her husband not telling her about the 12 problem child coming to stay. I loved that her husband Phil was fleshed out a little more and that the murder happens a little later in the story line. I thought I had it all figured out then had to change my thinking. Couldn't put it down and I have to thank my sweet and understanding husband who who brought home carryout . As I have said before I never want to give away to much of the plot, that you can get from the intro to me when you can find an author whose characters come to life as you read them, then that author has done their job and Susan Bernhardt has done here again.

* * * *

Kay Driscoll is at it again in this new cozy mystery from Susan Bernhardt, Murder by Fireworks, the third in the Kay Driscoll series. In the earlier books and in this one, Kay's faithful friends, Deirdre and Elizabeth help (and sometimes hinder) Kay's dogged investigation of killings in the fictional city of Sudbury Falls (killings which the police insist are accidental deaths.)

In this book, Kay has a young girl (Janey) thrust into her care at the worst possible time, just days before the wedding reception for her son is to be held in her backyard. This is certainly bad for Kaye, but good for the reader, since Janey brings her own brand of craziness to the Driscoll household and through her penchant for "borrowing" things from family, friends and strangers, she soon is at the heart of the investigation of a murder.

Complicating matters is the fact that the victim in this case is the kind of guy whose funeral people attend to make sure he is dead. He is a loud mouth, a braggart, and a womanizer, not necessarily in that order. The result is that there are enough possible suspects to keep you guessing until the very end.

There are also lots of parties, receptions and fireworks gatherings to keep people mixing in combustible combinations, and wonderful descriptions of food prepared by Marissa and others and gobbled down by everyone. Nice job, Susan. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

* * * *

Susan Bernhardt has written another winner. I just finished this and loved it!! I've read all three Kay Driscoll mysteries. They are great mysteries and have interesting characters. Kay just can't help herself when it comes to a murder. She can't accept that justice will not prevail. She has a knack for digging up the truth and stirring up trouble for herself. Kay had 3 attempts on her life and yet wouldn't give up until the guilty parties were put behind bars. I'm already itching for the next book!!

* * * *

Another nail bitter!! This book has the familiar cast of characters as we have come to know from the series.....with some interesting additions.

I find it amazing that from the very beginning the author grabs your attention and keeps it til the end. Even more amazing how any story line can have calorie laden dessert woven into most chapters, I think it is her secret signature. This book runs seamlessly with the previous two books. I am not a fiction reader, but its quite entertaining.....and you will not see the ending coming.

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Author Susan Bernhardt has scored another home run with her latest Kay Driscoll mystery book, 'Murder by Fireworks'. All of the familiar characters are back in that great little town of Sudbury Falls where many of the towns folk are seething with hidden passions and longings. We once again are treated to Phil the beloved, clueless husband who is always trying to rein in Kay, and her two eccentric, but very interesting friends, Deirdre and Elizabeth. Plus we have a whole new character, the annoying but very clever twelve year old Janey. The twists and turns, and the hidden motives will keep the reader guessing as to who is causing all of the murder and mayhem. We hope that Janey plays a big part in the further adventures of Kay.

* * * *

Kay Driscoll is a woman who just cannot stop playing detective. She reminds me of the main character in "The Father Brown Mysteries" on PBS. Because of her insatiable, curious nature, she becomes entangled in solving murders and is often at odds with her small town police chief and totally unappreciated--until the end of the book. Strong-willed, she doesn't give up and succeeds--as we knew she would. Her off beat friends still support her, they continue to eat pastries at Marisa's while plotting their next steps, her life becomes endangered--but she carries on. Adding the youthful and rebellious character Janey gives the book a refreshing twist and considering that she is moving in next door, I expect she will continue to appear in upcoming books. What makes these mysteries work are the obstacles Kay overcomes and her single mindedness to uncover the truth. She is daring and resourceful and observant--all the qualities to be a real sleuth. I look forward to more adventures in the future.

* * * *

Well, I guess you could say I'm a convert! I've always been an avid reader and have said for years that I really just didn't like mystery novels! But after reading the Kay Driscoll series by Susan Bernhardt, I've definitely changed my mind!

Susan has a way of grabbing your interest, holding it, and not letting it go until the very end! And of course, there are the characters! The main reason we keep coming back to a series is to find out what's happening with the characters. Susan has done a great job with characterization in her books. She has created some memorable characters that I look forward to meeting again. Keep up the good work Susan! I can't wait for the next one!

* * * *

This is a great beach read or by the fireplace with a cup of coffee. I can see hip small town America when I read this series. I really enjoy this book.

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This is another fun Kay Driscoll mystery! The sleepy town of Sudbury Falls, reels with a double-murder. The inept police chief does not have a clue how to solve the crimes. Fortunately, Kay and her two partners in crime solving: Deirdre and Elizabeth are happy to help. A new character, twelve-year-old Janey, joins the search, bringing humor and chaos. This is a great read and will keep you guessing!

©2012 by Susan Bernhardt. All rights reserved.