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on March 13, 2011
This was a good book and if I could have given it 3-1/2 stars I would have. There were a few swear words and no sex for those people who don't like that in their books. If you don't want blood or violence and just a light mystery you will also like it. If you like romance in your mystery books you will like this book too.

If you like intense mystery books this is not for you. It was very light and there seemed to be even more romance than any drama. It was not a book that I just had to finish at one sitting. Unlike others who reviewed this book I figured out the killer not too far in.

At times the book is too descriptive and you just wanted to skim over parts of it to get to the good parts (which there weren't many if you like the kind of mysteries I do). For example, there was one long section where Cassie goes to the shooting range and they talk about different stances and what they are called when shooting a gun, etc. Who cares? It did not relate to anything it just seemed like it was added for filler.

I also really wasn't thrilled that Cassie was always mentally writing a story during the story. She seemed scatter brained or ditzy. Even the romantic parts of the story were a little far fetched. Their romance just seemed odd. At one point Cassie is wondering what Whittaker is feeling for her & she calls her best friend to commiserate. The very next morning she calls him up at work and is calling him by several "cutesy" first names. Why would you do that when you weren't sure what he felt about her? That was really weird.

Even though I wasn't crazy about this book it was a good book and a lot of people will enjoy it for the reasons I mentioned in the first paragraph. We all don't like the same type of mystery books which is probably a good thing!
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on August 24, 2010
I tend to shy away from writing reviews because I'm not very good at the technical stuff - I either like a book or I don't. I'm trying to break that habit.

Why did I enjoy this book? Characters that I liked and could relate to. This is something important to me as I don't enjoy books in which I can't feel anything for the characters. Cassie felt very real to me, the kind of person that could be living next door. The fact that she loves Trixie Belden over Nancy Drew instantly endeared her to me. As for Detective Whittiker, can I just say, "yum!" There are some interesting secondary characters that I'm hoping to see more of in upcoming books - especially Linda and the Psychic Consortium.

As a cosy mystery, there's only minor bad language and no explicit scenes. There's a nice sprinkling of humour throughout. One scene I particularly liked involved an erupting bottle of wine. I could picture it perfectly.

There's a warmth in this book as if the author is writing from the heart, making in a nice, relaxing read.

It's a perfect book for curling up with your beverage of choice and maybe a cat or two. I'm eagerly looking forward to the next book which is to be released next year.
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on October 26, 2010
I was a beta-reader for Dead to Writes, so had read most of the book prior to publication. Normally, I don't reread mysteries, so was hesitant to read it again. However, I'm glad I did! The main character, new author Cassie Ellis, is a smart, impulsive, and kindhearted online professor/writer who is overjoyed at her first book's publication. That joy evaporates when one of her sources is found dead - and she was the last to see him alive. To add to her woes, her datebook is found near the body, leading the police to question her about her whereabouts during the murder.

Police detective James Whittaker is a stickler for following the rules. Events in his past, which are only hinted at, seem to have made him extra-cautious. Getting involved with a "person of interest" in the commission of a crime is not on his list of things to do. But he soon learns he needs to keep an eye on Cassie, if only to keep her from jumping into situations that could get her killed as she tries to find out who is killing her sources... and sabotaging her reputation.

Cassie and James have definite chemistry, and their growing attraction is developed with a sure hand. In addition, Cassie's best friend Michelle, her agent Aaron, her cat Donner, fellow-author and psychic Linda, and especially Whittaker's partner Freeman, are engaging and vividly drawn characters I can't wait to meet again.

I'm looking forward to the next title from Cathy Wiley's pen!
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on February 16, 2015
Since I've retired I read a ton but usually get lucky with 1 out of thirty samples I try on Amazon. This was a lucky one. Not only a good mystery where it was really tough to figure out who dun-it but I really enjoyed Cassie. Since she's a murder mystery writer her imagination & very extensive knowledge & research really can get her into trouble. Loved her interaction with Det. Whittaker and she showed she could hold her own when solving a murder. One of the things I liked from this author is that she didn't make the police out to be bumbling idiots which a lot of cozy mystery writers do.
I liked all of the main characters, the writing was very good, & the mystery was suspenseful. What more could I ask for in such an entertaining read.
I'm only disappointed that this book and the second were written a few years ago and there haven't been anymore. 'Write of Passage' was suppose to be the third in the series but has never come out. I really hope it will be in the future!!!!
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on September 15, 2017
Cute cozy mystery with an interesting premise: mystery writer's friends keep getting murdered. Cassie is a wonderfully quirky author and her soon to be boyfriend, Detective James Whittaker, is adorable.
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on May 10, 2011
I really enjoyed this mystery. I read the book in one sitting. I read for pleasure and not to critique it. My pleasure was that it caught my attention on the first page and kept it there to the last. I read quite a few books a week and I am definitely interested in reading her next book. I had my "psychic" intuition about the killer from the first, but that did not stop me from wanting to read each page to see what other clues I picked up to substantiate my theory. Cassie is fiesty and tells it like it is...I understand that personality.

I could understand and appreciate Cassie's imaginative and creative mind. It is not being ditzy. Someone who can look at something and make a creation out of it is blessed with a superior mind and one who can see possibilities in everything. And I liked some other reviewers who gave this a "Murder She Wrote" analogy.

As with all things, someone's treasure is someone else's trash. Thank the Universe for that or else this would be a very boring place if we all liked the same things and were little robots!

Kudos to you Cathy on your first book. I loved it and want more from you. Since I lived in the DC area for 25 years, I felt at home and right there with Cassie with the different places and incidents she referred to.
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on October 16, 2014
I had a ball reading this book; I was even late to an appointment because I couldn't stop reading.
The people in the book were full of life and very interesting. Cassie has a fantastic imagination which does her good as the writer of mysteries. Luckily, she has a number of good friends to help her stay grounded.
I look forward to reading more books in this series.
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on April 20, 2011
Girl writer whose first book is about to come out finds that sources she thanked for their help are being killed off. She is grilled by two homicide officers, one of whom comes to be quite appealing to her. She insists that her research in crime (books about which she writes) equip her to help in investigation. Who dun it? Will she be able to come up with useful clues? Is she, herself, at risk?
Set down in this fashion, the novel appears to be another routine boy-girl-mystery story. It is. Almost. What saves it and makes for quite interesting reading is that magic touch which allows an author to follow well trod trails but makes them seem new, attractive and appealing. Her characters are fresh, the story is involving, the little touches to each add color; the result is a better than average effort which is entertaining in itself and a promising start of a new series by a new writer.
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on July 23, 2012
I'm catching up on reviews I should have written long ago.

Dead to Writes is, bottom line, a fun read. As others have noted it is a light read, but the mystery is excellent, the characters are extremely well drawn-out, especially Cassie, and the narrative flows nicely (sure there are edit problems, but the story takes you quickly past them). I am partial to the occasional location book, and Cathy Wiles helped me to imbibe the DC/Baltimore area.

Some books you read with a critical eye; some, after the first page, you just want to find a really comfortable chair, bring the libation of your choice, settle a pet here or there, and settle in for a relaxing read.

Dead to Writes is that book.

I like my protagonists distinctive, I like them even better if they are still in my mind months later. Cathy Wiley has created a protagonist that is unique and memorable.
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on March 11, 2011
I'll admit to having a special fondness for books about writers, and this one hit the spot. In fact, I loved everything about this book. It is very well-written, with a decent mystery and a solid pace. I really liked Cassie a lot. I found her superstitions hilarious, but believable. I also liked the relationships she has with various people in the book. Dead to Writes doesn't hit you over the head with humor, but it is still quite funny, which is always a plus for me.

Fans of the Murder She Wrote series will enjoy this book, as will any cozy mystery reader.

I found this one to be very well written and edited, a real standout debut. The writer did her research and it shows. All around good, solid, fun book. I would definitely recommend it to my friends.
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