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Ms America and the Offing on Oahu (Beauty Queen Mysteries #1) [Kindle Edition]

Diana Dempsey
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Customers who enjoy books by Janet Evanovich are sure to enjoy MS AMERICA AND THE OFFING ON OAHU, the debut mystery in a fast and hilariously funny series about how being a beauty queen can be murder …

Ms Ohio Happy Pennington finds out it’s not all sequins and silicone when she competes on Oahu for the Ms America crown—the first national title of her life.
When her fiercest competitor tumbles dead out of the isolation booth during the televised pageant finale, Honolulu PD gets to thinking Happy might have killed her.

What’s the only thing a beauty queen worth her sash can do? Nab the real killer—even if that means tangling with snarky rival contestants, a local who claims to be Hawaiian royalty, a brooding helicopter pilot, and a pageant emcee hot enough to die for ...

* * *
Author Diana Dempsey never competed in beauty pageants but she did the next best thing: she worked in TV news. After a dozen years as an Emmy-winning anchor and reporter, Diana hung up her mic to become an author of fast and fun romantic fiction.

Her novels have been called “almost impossible to put down” (Romance Reviews Today), “skillfully plotted and filled with realistic detail” (Library Journal), and “spicy, sexy, and sultry” (Booklist). Her first novel was nominated for a RITA award for Best First Book by Romance Writers of America; another was a Top Pick of Romantic Times; a third was a selection of the Doubleday Book Club.

* * *


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Diana Dempsey never competed in beauty pageants but she did the next best thing: she worked in TV news. After a dozen years as an Emmy-winning anchor and reporter, Diana hung up her mic to become an author of fast and fun romantic fiction. Diana’s novels have been called “almost impossible to put down” (Romance Reviews Today), “skillfully plotted and filled with realistic detail” (Library Journal), and “spicy, sexy, and sultry” (Booklist). Her first novel was nominated for a RITA award for Best First Book by the Romance Writers of America; another was a Top Pick of Romantic Times; and a third was a selection of the Doubleday Book Club. Diana loves to hear from readers! Visit www.dianadempsey.com to email her and sign up to her mailing list to hear first about her new releases. Also join her on Facebook at DianaDempseyBooks and follow her on Twitter at Diana_Dempsey.

Product Details

  • File Size: 830 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Bramerton Press; 1 edition (December 4, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0055DJOEU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,431 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I recently read Ms. Dempsey's Falling Star and loved it, so I decided to check out her latest book. I have to say, I enjoyed this one just as much -- perhaps even more. Once again, Ms. Dempsey has created a spunky, resourceful heroine who, despite her status as a perennial participant in beauty pageants, is still very much an underdog, which made me root for her even more. The murder mystery she becomes embroiled in manages to be both comical and nail-biting, and the identity of the killer kept me guessing all the way. Add to that a wickedly fun cast of supporting characters and an exotic Hawaii locale and you've got a perfect summer beach read.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm Unhappy With Happy Pennington January 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I managed, just barely to finish this book last night and I wanted to give myself 24 hours to mull over what I felt about it. Unfortunately my feelings haven't changed from last night. Instead of the 1 star this book should have gotten I gave it a 2 because I could see that the author tried very hard to make this an interesting, action packed book. She did try to weave a good story, and had some interesting and well written secondary characters. Unfortunately what finally did happen, is that the so called 'heroine' just came off looking like an idiotic, Peri-menopausal, busybody that had no clue and didn't care how she messed up the police investigation.

In this book we meet Ms Ohio, Happy Pennington, who is among the top 5 contestants at the Ms America pageant. While in the isolation booth, her competitor and last contestant up, dies after re-applying her face powder and lipstick. So of course the police have to think that Happy had something to do with it and Happy just has to do the cops job because they sure aren't doing it correctly!

There are so many red herrings that I finally just had to skim to the end just to see if anyone actually did the deed! Unfortunately, Happy was not exactly the most sympathetic of protagonists. I know that is harsh of me, and I also realize that this book cost a mere 99 cents so I shouldn't feel cheated...but I do because all of the elements of a good, honestly funny, slap-stick kind of comedy of errors, mystery were there. But it was too much. Perhaps Janet Evanovich can get away with this kind of thing, but not lately. Audiences may be looking for less "rebel without a clue" and more "women with some common sense and a good sense of humor" in there fiction.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Happy Pennington is a finalist for the Ms. America title. When her main competitor is killed on stage, Happy ends up with the title and a chance to do what her Daddy did--solve murders.

The plot is fascinating. Each scene, for example when the chopper pilot--at altitude--gulps the poisoned drink meant for Happy, is refreshingly novel. The characters are funny, vain, flawed, self-absorbed, officious, arrogant, all in their turns to combine to an entertaining ensemble.

The writing is vivid, crisp, fast paced and fun.

Readers who enjoyed Sandra Bullock and the film Miss Congeniality will love Happy and this book. And for those who didn't care for the Bullock movie, get a sample of this great read because Offing on Oahu is more fully realized than the movie plot.

For the men (like me) who steer clear of "chick lit," I advise you drive right up to this book if you enjoy a mystery, a pretty woman with brains, wit and spunk, and innovative situations beautifully described.

The writing and story are as lean as a beauty queen, likewise beautifully toned and without an ounce of fat.

And on a more personal note, I especially liked how the book gives great entertainment without using woman as sex objects, eye candy, and all the other standard cleavage-capitalization one normally finds in books, TV and movies.

Happy is returning for another mystery, and I'm glad. Meantime, I need to revisit the author's other works for a look-see via samples.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fulfills every expectation for a cozy mystery! July 9, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ms America and the Offing on Oahu is a giggle a minute - when you're not on the edge of your seat wondering how the heroine is going to "get out of one"! Sassy characters, an insider's look into Beauty Contests, a setting to die for in Hawaii and a plot that carries from beginning to end - this book is a page turner that you won't want to put down and never want to end. If I could give it a higher rating than five stars, I would. I LOVED this book and look forward to the next one in the Ms America series!
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a great book November 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While the book was not truly awful (I did manaage to finally finish it), it simply wasn't very good, either. The characters are predictable, the situations stupid, and the setting of Oahu is in name only and does not come into play at all in the plot. Having lived on Oahu, I found the few references to Hawaii and Hawaiian culture pretty laughable, and sometimes fairly insulting. I'm sure the author has either never been there, or only spent a week at a resort somewhere before writing this book. As for the writing itself, you can tell the author has probably read Southern chick-humor, such as the Sweet Potato Queens, et al, because her main character, although not Southern, certainly tries to act as if she is a Georgia Peach - all the while just missing the "something" that would make her one. I was really hoping for a murder mystery situated in Hawaii, as that's a genre that really interests me. Unfortunately, it could have taken place in Sandusky. Obviously, the author asked someone, "hmmmm...name a place that starts with 'O'". Too bad they didn't reply, "Ohio." I hope the author works a little harder on her next novel, and learns how to create believable characters, realizes that people aren't stupid enough to believe someone would actually DO the things her characters do (nor would they get away with it if they did), and that plot twists should be crafted, not contrived. Sure, stretching the truth is a good part of humor writing, but you can't stretch it 'til it breaks.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Ms America and the Offing on Oahu (Beauty Queen Mysteries, No 1) by...
Ms America and the Offing on Oahu (Beauty Queen Mysteries, No 1) by Diana Dempsey
Enjoyed reading a good mysteries, then this is a good one to read.
Published 11 days ago by Patricia Shearer
4.0 out of 5 stars good plot, easy reading
Interesting twists, good plot, easy reading. Learned a lot about beauty pageants.
Published 11 days ago by crs
5.0 out of 5 stars Ms America and the Offing on Oahu
I love reading her books. The characters are believable and so colorful. The dialogue flows effortlessly and the story line is commendable. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Unknown
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun, quick read.
A fun whodunit with believable characters and an interesting plot. You feel like you'd like to be friends with Happy and help her solve the mystery!
Published 21 days ago by Janne Etz
4.0 out of 5 stars P.I. and Beauty Queen
This book was very enjoyable even though it was slow to start. Happy, the main character, is a very good sleuth and pretty good beauty contestant. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Cathy Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars a summer fun read
Beauty queens that might be killing a fellow contestant....a beauty queen who keeps getting caught in the wrong places.... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read
I enjoy this genre, and found this book very enjoyable. I like that I was surprised "who dunit."
Published 29 days ago by PRIME Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
So so.
Published 1 month ago by Me
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, amusing,good plot
Amusing, good plot and suprise ending. Not normally the type of mystery that I like,but once I got in it,I was hooked. Li
Published 1 month ago by Mamajean
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
This is a good start for a series with beauty queen contestants as the major players. Suspenseful, enjoyable. A pleasant read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
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More About the Author

Diana Dempsey traded in an Emmy-winning career in TV news to write fast, fun romantic fiction. Her debut novel, FALLING STAR, was nominated for a RITA award for Best First Book by the members of Romance Writers of America. It centers on the personal and professional travails - and eventual triumphs - of a primetime anchorwoman. TO CATCH THE MOON, a Romantic Times Top Pick, combines a murder mystery with a love triangle. TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN goes behind the glossy veneer of a Napa Valley winery to find forbidden love, intrigue, and betrayal. CHASING VENUS is a romantic suspense about writer Annette Rowell, who discovers that being a best-selling novelist can be a killer ...

Since Diana enjoys the occasional well-executed murder, she's launched a cozy mystery series. MS AMERICA AND THE OFFING ON OAHU introduces beauty queen and budding sleuth Happy Pennington, who must clear her name when her fiercest competitor tumbles dead out of the isolation booth during the pageant finale. Happy continues her adventures in MS AMERICA AND THE VILLAINY IN VEGAS, MS AMERICA AND THE MAYHEM IN MIAMI, and MS AMERICA AND THE WHOOPSIE IN WINONA.

In 2014, Diana teamed up with authors Ciji Ware and Kate Moore to write RING OF TRUTH, an anthology of linked novellas about a magical Claddagh ring, the ancient Irish symbol of friendship, loyalty, and love.

In her dozen years in television news, the former Diana Koricke played every on-air role from network correspondent to local news anchor. She reported for NBC News from New York, Tokyo, and Burbank, and substitute anchored such broadcasts as Sunrise, Today, and NBC Nightly News. In addition, she was a morning anchor for KTTV 11 Fox News in Los Angeles. She started her broadcast career in the anchor chair for Financial News Network.

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York - Go, Bills! - Diana is a graduate of Harvard University and the winner of a Rotary International Foundation Scholarship. She enjoyed stints overseas in Belgium, the U.K., and Japan, and now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and a West Highland White Terrier, not necessarily in that order.

Diana loves to hear from readers! Visit www.dianadempsey.com to email Diana, and be sure to sign up for her mailing list to hear first about her new releases. Also join her on Facebook at Diana Dempsey Books and follow her on Twitter at Diana_Dempsey.


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