Cozy Mystery

In the Stars (Amber Reed Mystery, 1) by Zanna Mackenzie

Image source: Goodreads

When celebrities need a crime solving quickly and discreetly they call in the specialists, the Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency, otherwise known as the CCIA… 

One desperate phone call is all it takes to turn Amber’s day from boring to completely crazy. 

The call? Her old university boyfriend Ennis, now a heartthrob actor, begs for Amber’s help. 

His brother Joel is dead and Ennis has to discover the truth about his death before the world’s media hear about it and batter his door down demanding answers. 

The CCIA has already assigned its top agent, Charlie Huxton, to the case. 

Amber’s mission? Ennis doesn’t trust a stranger to keep quiet so he pleads with Amber to shadow and help Charlie throughout the investigation. Ennis was her first love and she still has a soft spot for him – how can she refuse? 

Scarily out of her depth Amber knows she needs to somehow get Charlie on side with her involvement in the case – and fast. 

Plunged into the world of crime Amber’s battling something darker and far more dangerous than she’d imagined – and it has nothing to do with the equally scary chemistry fizzing between her and Charlie. 

Will Charlie agree to work with her to find out how and why Joel died? 

Can she help uncover the truth before word gets out and an already distraught Ennis is hounded by story-hungry journalists? 

Just as importantly, can she keep her sanity and manage to still be alive when the mystery is finally solved? 


I put off reading this book for ages because the cover looked so dull. Every time I planned on starting it, I’d end up reading a different book. In the end, I convinced myself to give it a shot because—let’s admit it—covers are misleading. I’ve been deceived by pretty covers one too many times in the past.

~ What I Liked About the Book ~

While this book was by no means great, I had fun reading it. The pacing was good and so was the mystery. It had the right balance between action, romance, and mystery. I also found the characters lively and entertaining.

Overall, the book left me with a positive impression. It actually reminded me of the more child-oriented action movies, like Kingsman: The Secret Service.

~ What I Didn’t Like About the Book ~

At first, I was put off by the use of present tense in the narration, but I got used to it eventually. What really bothered me was the lack of commas in the sentences. I had to reread a lot of lines to understand them because they were so long.

The story itself was interesting, but I found the premise hard to believe. Asking a friend to shadow an investigator is not something any normal person would do; having said investigator agree to it is even more implausible.

I also found Amber annoying at times, mostly when she insisted on tagging along Charlie everywhere. She was more of a hindrance to the investigation than anything, and I often wondered why Charlie found it tolerable.

This book was good enough for a quick read, but it didn’t stand out.



In the Stars is an entertaining book for readers who don’t mind unrealistic scenarios and extra long sentences.


Amazon | Goodreads

For a complete list of my book reviews, click here.


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