The After Party

Montlake: Amazon. Nov. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9781542031127. pap. $12.95. F
Romance novelist Arthur (Back to Love) shifts to women’s fiction mixed with mystery. Three coworkers find their darkest wishes have come true, forcing them to team up to avoid unemployment or even prison. Venus McGee, Draya Carter, and Jackie Benson all work for the same firm and have all been victims (professionally or personally) of their sexist, blackmailing boss Rufus. After a frustrating work party, they retreat to Venus’s apartment and vividly imagine the ways in which they’d like to murder Rufus. When Draya discovers Rufus’s body the next morning, she’s convinced she’ll be arrested and calls on the other two women to help her hide his death. Their impulsive choices lead to more complications, as they scramble to keep ahead of the investigation and stay out of trouble. The murder is a mystery for the characters and readers to solve, and a galvanizing force in the lives of the three women. Venus, Jackie, and Draya have their professional and personal complications, but by supporting one another, they’re all a little stronger.
VERDICT Arthur develops each of her main characters so well that readers will root for them all.
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