Review of “The Twist and Shout Murder: A Swinging Sixties Mystery” by Teresa Trent

My rating: ★★★★

“Things had to be lined up just right for the spark to catch. The killer had to feel the heat spreading from one problem to the next. I only worried I would set myself on fire in the process.”

Dot Morgan, the ambitious young protagonist of The Twist and Shout Murders, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of small town sabotage, slander and even murder. Dot is a refreshing standout from the rest of the close-minded thinkers of 1962 Camden, Texas, using her morals and her wit to help usher the town out of the more restrictive 1950s and into the free-thinking 60s.

When a hit-and-run leaves a single mother hospitalized and a suspicious death is swept under the rug, Dot decides to stir the pot instead of minding her own business like one of the good little Camden Ladies Club members. With the odds and powerful members of the town stacked against her, Dot challenges the society whose dated gelatin mold she refuses to conform to.

Teresa Trent keeps the reader guessing until the very end in this mystery littered with suspicious characters. Her attention to detail flushes out the time period’s changing styles, ideologies and the latest fads – hello, golden arches hamburgers!

While there were a few distracting errors that a bit of editing could fix, that’s not to say this book wasn’t an enjoyable read. 

The tense scenes really drive the story forward while the heart of the story takes its time and allows us the opportunity to rub shoulders with the good, the misguided or the plain ugly people of Camden, Texas. Dot is a young woman with enough grit and determination to keep Texas on its toes. This won’t be the last we hear from her.

The Twist and Shout Murder: A Swinging Sixties Mystery by Teresa Trent is available for preorder at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

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