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The Talk Show Murders

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After waking up the neighborhood with The Morning Show Murders, and keeping readers up late solving The Midnight Show Murders, Al Roker returns with his most tantalizing mystery to date. Celebrity chef turned sleuth Billy Blessing finds his plate full of danger once again, as secrets from his long-buried past threaten to make a comeback. Before Billy had his five-star resta After waking up the neighborhood with The Morning Show Murders, and keeping readers up late solving The Midnight Show Murders, Al Roker returns with his most tantalizing mystery to date. Celebrity chef turned sleuth Billy Blessing finds his plate full of danger once again, as secrets from his long-buried past threaten to make a comeback. Before Billy had his five-star restaurant in New York, before he was tapped to co-host the morning show Wake Up, America! and travel with it for a week in the Windy City—before he even assumed the name Billy Blessing—he lived a totally different life under a very different identity: as wily con man Billy Blanchard. Caught trying to run a scam on a shady Detroit businessman, Billy did time for his crimes, reinvented himself, and has successfully kept that part of his past covered up ever since. But when he and Eddie Patton, a nosy ex-cop with a long memory, are guests on a popular Chicago TV talk show, the off-camera chat turns to blackmail. And Billy may have no choice but to pay up or see the embarrassing truth from being blogcast to the world on Patton’s true crime website. This being Chicago, secrets have a way of getting out—and getting people killed. When Patton winds up dead in his apartment only hours after trying to shake Billy down, it’s just the first in a string of killings that has America’s most beloved TV host scrambling for clues, unsure who his friends are, and desperate to clear his name before he becomes the media’s latest poster child for celebrity scandal. Throw in a budding romance with a visiting movie star and Billy Blessing may have finally gotten himself into one sticky situation even he can’t talk his way out of. Fast-paced, funny, and bubbling over with inside scoop on the business they call show, The Talk Show Murders is Al Roker mystery fiction at its delicious, dishy best.


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After waking up the neighborhood with The Morning Show Murders, and keeping readers up late solving The Midnight Show Murders, Al Roker returns with his most tantalizing mystery to date. Celebrity chef turned sleuth Billy Blessing finds his plate full of danger once again, as secrets from his long-buried past threaten to make a comeback. Before Billy had his five-star resta After waking up the neighborhood with The Morning Show Murders, and keeping readers up late solving The Midnight Show Murders, Al Roker returns with his most tantalizing mystery to date. Celebrity chef turned sleuth Billy Blessing finds his plate full of danger once again, as secrets from his long-buried past threaten to make a comeback. Before Billy had his five-star restaurant in New York, before he was tapped to co-host the morning show Wake Up, America! and travel with it for a week in the Windy City—before he even assumed the name Billy Blessing—he lived a totally different life under a very different identity: as wily con man Billy Blanchard. Caught trying to run a scam on a shady Detroit businessman, Billy did time for his crimes, reinvented himself, and has successfully kept that part of his past covered up ever since. But when he and Eddie Patton, a nosy ex-cop with a long memory, are guests on a popular Chicago TV talk show, the off-camera chat turns to blackmail. And Billy may have no choice but to pay up or see the embarrassing truth from being blogcast to the world on Patton’s true crime website. This being Chicago, secrets have a way of getting out—and getting people killed. When Patton winds up dead in his apartment only hours after trying to shake Billy down, it’s just the first in a string of killings that has America’s most beloved TV host scrambling for clues, unsure who his friends are, and desperate to clear his name before he becomes the media’s latest poster child for celebrity scandal. Throw in a budding romance with a visiting movie star and Billy Blessing may have finally gotten himself into one sticky situation even he can’t talk his way out of. Fast-paced, funny, and bubbling over with inside scoop on the business they call show, The Talk Show Murders is Al Roker mystery fiction at its delicious, dishy best.

30 review for The Talk Show Murders

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mia Couture

    Did you know Al Roker wrote a book? A fiction book? This was a cute, fun, mystery that was better than I thought it was going to be. I really enjoyed it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Having sped through Roker's series (trology?) I can make some more general comments, as well as some book-specific to give readers a better idea of what they can expect out of this. Roker and his co-author do get better as the books progress, which is not to be disputed. That said, the books never leave their cheesiness factor by the wayside and are, as far as I am concerned, strictly summer beach fare or travelling reading. I cannot come to say that, had I been presented with these books that t Having sped through Roker's series (trology?) I can make some more general comments, as well as some book-specific to give readers a better idea of what they can expect out of this. Roker and his co-author do get better as the books progress, which is not to be disputed. That said, the books never leave their cheesiness factor by the wayside and are, as far as I am concerned, strictly summer beach fare or travelling reading. I cannot come to say that, had I been presented with these books that they were at the top of my list. I kept the first on my iPod for a long time and chose, perhaps subconsciously, to add the others so that when I did read them, I could have the series in front of me and give the review I am typing now. This is the most complex (though on some levels it seems silly to call anything about these books complex) of the three books, in that it pits the main character's current life with his past; moreso than Book 2 and will many more sinister undertones. The book seeks mainly to deal with the death of a former police detective, while giving the reader some behind-the-scenes looks into television broadcasting on location. The murder brings our main character out to do some sleuthing in hopes of tripping upon the mastermind behind it all. I am, however, left to wonder if Billy Blessing and Jessica Fletcher (flashback to 'Murder, She Wrote', of 1980s and 90s fame) share the same bloodline, as murder seems to follow them everywhere they go. A few questions worth tossing out there: - Would I purchase these books to read? Absolutely not! Libraries have their purposes and this is one reason that I would use them. I do not find the content to be worth the gouging I get from them) - Would I choose to read over listen to the books? No, again. Roker does a good job in narrating his own books and I find that they flow better here. Also, I can listen wherever I am and finishing the book faster than sitting down to read. Honesty, a real stinger. - Would I read another book in the series? I am still on the fence there. So, I suggest you tap into your library's audiobook collection and hope it is there. Decent series, Mr. Roker.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Okay, there were moments that I was just frustrated with the story and then as this one went on there were some laugh out loud moments. Billy Blessing and the crew are in Chicago for the show and he has been sent to visit someone else's show, while a blackmailing former cop is on and this starts the ball rolling for many deaths and other things going wrong. Billy's past is being brought out by the former cop who wants lots of money to keep it quiet. At the same time there are so many others who Okay, there were moments that I was just frustrated with the story and then as this one went on there were some laugh out loud moments. Billy Blessing and the crew are in Chicago for the show and he has been sent to visit someone else's show, while a blackmailing former cop is on and this starts the ball rolling for many deaths and other things going wrong. Billy's past is being brought out by the former cop who wants lots of money to keep it quiet. At the same time there are so many others who he is trying to blackmail, the only thing, he went after the wrong man and is murdered for his troubles. While the murderer tries to get the files back, they are going after Billy and anyone who comes between him and the files. One of my favorite lines in the story involved Billy being kidnapped from in front of the police station, not once, but twice. The story was interesting and had moments of intrigue and I did not really have a clue about who murdered whom. I did feel that Cassandra's calls of irritation at Billy for not being around to help run his restaurant were over the top and the mysteries of what was wrong with the electric and where the rodents and bugs were coming from were just too much.

  4. 4 out of 5

    City Lady

    I love you Al. But, don't give up your day job as they say. I needed a quick read for a short vacation and had a hard time finding something on the mobile app from the library. The writing quality is not great - there are too many outstanding authors with books I will not have enough time to read in my lifetime so I like to choose more wisely... The writing in the first person does not really serve any purpose in my opinion. The story and characters were introduced quickly and it was confusing, I love you Al. But, don't give up your day job as they say. I needed a quick read for a short vacation and had a hard time finding something on the mobile app from the library. The writing quality is not great - there are too many outstanding authors with books I will not have enough time to read in my lifetime so I like to choose more wisely... The writing in the first person does not really serve any purpose in my opinion. The story and characters were introduced quickly and it was confusing, convoluted plot. However, the STORY itself was actually pretty good - it needs someone else to write it or rewrite it. Maybe Grisham. Hah. The food descriptions are great as you would expect from Al.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diana Brockelbank

    I would have given this book 5 stars except for the language. I know some people say the f bomb a lot, but it is very disconcerting to hear Al,Roker say it! He narrated his book, which I thought was wonderful...until all the cursing started. He has quite the repertoire of voices, which I enjoyed. He is very versatile. There were an awful lot of murders-I think I counted 7 by the end, but Billy Blessing managed to tie everything up and stay alive by the end! He was kidnapped twice, avoided a thir I would have given this book 5 stars except for the language. I know some people say the f bomb a lot, but it is very disconcerting to hear Al,Roker say it! He narrated his book, which I thought was wonderful...until all the cursing started. He has quite the repertoire of voices, which I enjoyed. He is very versatile. There were an awful lot of murders-I think I counted 7 by the end, but Billy Blessing managed to tie everything up and stay alive by the end! He was kidnapped twice, avoided a third kidnapping and was shot at numerous times. All the while he is doing his morning show and keeping track,of his restaurant back in NYC a, from Chicago. Lots of secrets and mystery.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Just alright. It dragged and fell flat at the end. I borrowed the audio version. It helped that I could listen while doing something else. I would've abandon the book all together had I borrowed a non-audio version and had to sit reading it. ********SPOILER******** Not sure if this is a spoiler, but just to be on the safe side: The stuttering character really grated on me. It was so over the top that I almost gave up at that point. It sounded more like a cartoon character than the voice of a huma Just alright. It dragged and fell flat at the end. I borrowed the audio version. It helped that I could listen while doing something else. I would've abandon the book all together had I borrowed a non-audio version and had to sit reading it. ********SPOILER******** Not sure if this is a spoiler, but just to be on the safe side: The stuttering character really grated on me. It was so over the top that I almost gave up at that point. It sounded more like a cartoon character than the voice of a human.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Judy Herrmann

    An enjoyable mystery with not to many descriptions of gratuitous bloodshed. I had trouble keeping track of who some of the characters were.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy "the book-bat"

    This is the third in the Billy Blessing series by Al Roker (yes, THAT Al Roker). I haven't read the first two books yet. The story was interesting. People who were on the same episode of a Chicago talk show were being murdered. Billy, a chef from New York, was on that show and became a target. I got lost when things started in with organized crime tie-ins and people with multiple names. I wonder if reading a physical copy of the book rather than just listening to it might have helped that issue. This is the third in the Billy Blessing series by Al Roker (yes, THAT Al Roker). I haven't read the first two books yet. The story was interesting. People who were on the same episode of a Chicago talk show were being murdered. Billy, a chef from New York, was on that show and became a target. I got lost when things started in with organized crime tie-ins and people with multiple names. I wonder if reading a physical copy of the book rather than just listening to it might have helped that issue. Anyway, I do enjoy Al Roker's weather reports and such on the Today Show, so it was fun to listen to him narrate his book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ursula Miller

    I generally prefer less "hard-boiled" mysteries, but at least most of the blood and gore was kept "off-stage." The twists and turns of the plot kept me guessing. I didn't figure out the solution until nearly at the end. Aside from "Billy," (who is most definitely based on Al Roker, himself) I found the characters rather under-developed. I generally prefer less "hard-boiled" mysteries, but at least most of the blood and gore was kept "off-stage." The twists and turns of the plot kept me guessing. I didn't figure out the solution until nearly at the end. Aside from "Billy," (who is most definitely based on Al Roker, himself) I found the characters rather under-developed.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Listening on audio, I had trouble keeping the characters straight, which made the plot harder to follow.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Danica

    It just felt lukewarm. Not especially interesting.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Zelda

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It's been my favorite of the series. There were some surprising twists and I finished this book in a few days,once I was able to actually sit down and read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It's been my favorite of the series. There were some surprising twists and I finished this book in a few days,once I was able to actually sit down and read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    Chef Billy Blessing and his Wake Up, America! team are traveling and the next two weeks they will be in Chicago, doing live shoots, interesting stories and in Billy's case, getting involved in a local murder or two. It starts with a body found on the shores of Lake Michigan, headless, without arms and legs. Billy is scheduled to a mid-day show to promote their being in Chicago. One of the other guests turns out to be a pain, a creep and eventually a blackmailer. Eddie "Pat" Patton is a former, de Chef Billy Blessing and his Wake Up, America! team are traveling and the next two weeks they will be in Chicago, doing live shoots, interesting stories and in Billy's case, getting involved in a local murder or two. It starts with a body found on the shores of Lake Michigan, headless, without arms and legs. Billy is scheduled to a mid-day show to promote their being in Chicago. One of the other guests turns out to be a pain, a creep and eventually a blackmailer. Eddie "Pat" Patton is a former, decorated, Chicago Policeman. Upon his retirement he started a website and practiced the art of being a pain, obnoxious and highly entertaining to many people. When he decides to blackmail Billy and then turns up dead, Billy is drawn into the investigation because of the need to find the files used for the blackmail. Other bodies start showing up and Billy is drawn further into CPD business. There are a lot of threads of stories going on here and I didn't expect the ending, at all! I love Billy, I love all the inside information you get from Al Roker's years as a television news and weather man, his actual experience in writing cookbooks and just the fun pokes he takes at his world. Can't wait to read more in his Chef Billy Blessing series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Snell

    Book 3 in the Billy Blessing series by Al Roker. So far I don't love this series, but I don't dislike it either - reading these books is just something to do because of Roker's celebrity, although if he keeps injecting his left wing hate/politics into the stories, his celebrity won't be enough to keep me reading. This time out, Billy and his TV crew are broadcasting from Chicago when Billy is threatened with blackmail because of a criminal incident in his past. Billy becomes involved in the case Book 3 in the Billy Blessing series by Al Roker. So far I don't love this series, but I don't dislike it either - reading these books is just something to do because of Roker's celebrity, although if he keeps injecting his left wing hate/politics into the stories, his celebrity won't be enough to keep me reading. This time out, Billy and his TV crew are broadcasting from Chicago when Billy is threatened with blackmail because of a criminal incident in his past. Billy becomes involved in the case when the blackmailer is murdered. As the story progresses, at least three more people are murdered, another two people are blackmailed, and Billy becomes enamored with a French actress. The end contained a couple mild surprises - mostly concerning a headless body that washed up on the shore of lake Michigan at the start of the book. The identification of the killers, and their motivation felt a bit contrived, but not hurt the book overall.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Harvey

    2.5 This is third in series featuring Billy Blessing, celebrity chef/restauranteur and tv personality. I did not like this as much as the previous one. Roker and Lochte are stumbling a bit at finding the right balance between the lighthearted banter/TV backstage insiderism and the brutality of blackmail, kdnapping and murder. While in previous books Billy was the heroic amateur crimesolver, here Billy himself is target of blackmail and needs to solve the murder(s) to extricate himself from unwanted 2.5 This is third in series featuring Billy Blessing, celebrity chef/restauranteur and tv personality. I did not like this as much as the previous one. Roker and Lochte are stumbling a bit at finding the right balance between the lighthearted banter/TV backstage insiderism and the brutality of blackmail, kdnapping and murder. While in previous books Billy was the heroic amateur crimesolver, here Billy himself is target of blackmail and needs to solve the murder(s) to extricate himself from unwanted exposure. Ending was cliched/contrived.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Celebrity chef Billy Blessing is spending several weeks broadcasting from Chicago when he runs into cop turned right-wing blogger Eddie Patton, who remembers Blessing from his past outside the law. When Patton's body is found, Billy is afraid someone else has the blackmail material. He's also become convinced that the man who ordered the hit on his old mentor many years ago is still alive, and perhaps out to get him, too. Celebrity chef Billy Blessing is spending several weeks broadcasting from Chicago when he runs into cop turned right-wing blogger Eddie Patton, who remembers Blessing from his past outside the law. When Patton's body is found, Billy is afraid someone else has the blackmail material. He's also become convinced that the man who ordered the hit on his old mentor many years ago is still alive, and perhaps out to get him, too.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Stehr

    This is not as good as the first two. this one "needs" too much. It needs leaps in your imagination beyond what a fiction book should need, it needs you to embrace things that you may not understand. I liked the Chicago setting, I like the crazy antics and humor, but it turns too serious in some spots and then lighthearte the next minute. Start with the first book in the series, you will be able to withstand this book and then hope for the best with a fourth book! This is not as good as the first two. this one "needs" too much. It needs leaps in your imagination beyond what a fiction book should need, it needs you to embrace things that you may not understand. I liked the Chicago setting, I like the crazy antics and humor, but it turns too serious in some spots and then lighthearte the next minute. Start with the first book in the series, you will be able to withstand this book and then hope for the best with a fourth book!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    I enjoyed this book as well as The Morning Show and Midnight Show Murders. Billy Blessing is a likable morning show host in addition to a successful chef and restauranter. I like his somewhat self-deprecating sense of humor as well as the cast of supporting characters: surly, yet loyal and competent. Since, Billy seems to be a barely disguised Al Roker, the stories make me wonder about Mr. Roker's real life co-workers. I have to say that I had no idea who dunnit until the end! I enjoyed this book as well as The Morning Show and Midnight Show Murders. Billy Blessing is a likable morning show host in addition to a successful chef and restauranter. I like his somewhat self-deprecating sense of humor as well as the cast of supporting characters: surly, yet loyal and competent. Since, Billy seems to be a barely disguised Al Roker, the stories make me wonder about Mr. Roker's real life co-workers. I have to say that I had no idea who dunnit until the end!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    Al Roker's narration of this light-hearted (yes) murder mystery is delightful. I had no trouble picturing in vivid detail the entire cast, especially the main protagonist, Billy Blessing. As,of course, Al Roker. The story line had a few surprises and a few tables were turned, some predictably. My only complaint is the inconsistent behavior of a main antagonist. I don't believe that driving in Chigago is so simple that even someone simple could do it. Al Roker's narration of this light-hearted (yes) murder mystery is delightful. I had no trouble picturing in vivid detail the entire cast, especially the main protagonist, Billy Blessing. As,of course, Al Roker. The story line had a few surprises and a few tables were turned, some predictably. My only complaint is the inconsistent behavior of a main antagonist. I don't believe that driving in Chigago is so simple that even someone simple could do it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I like Al Roker. Found this in the library and thought I would give it a try and I'm glad I did. I vaguely remember hearing he had written a mystery novel, and now I'll go back and try to find the first two in the series. The insider knowledge just make the story fun, and with Al reading it, there is a familiarity and easiness in the listening. That being said, this isn't a book that will stay with you long after it is done, but it doesn't have to be. Enjoy it for what it is. I like Al Roker. Found this in the library and thought I would give it a try and I'm glad I did. I vaguely remember hearing he had written a mystery novel, and now I'll go back and try to find the first two in the series. The insider knowledge just make the story fun, and with Al reading it, there is a familiarity and easiness in the listening. That being said, this isn't a book that will stay with you long after it is done, but it doesn't have to be. Enjoy it for what it is.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    This was the third in a series of books involving Billy Blessing. This time he is off to Chicago to promote the show and himself. But while there, someone has discovered his distant pass and is making it very uncomfortable for him. There were a lot of chases, gunfire, and a few murders here and there. But Billy handles it all with his typical gruff charm, grace, and luck only Billy seem to possess. A good but not memorable read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    A great third in the series of Al Roker's Chef Billy Blessing and his "falling into the stew of murder." This time Billy is in Chicago and his past shows up in unexpected ways - a retired obnoxious cop, thugsvturned bodyguards, and the usual babes of beauty are all included in this midwest murder story. I can't wait for the next installment! A great third in the series of Al Roker's Chef Billy Blessing and his "falling into the stew of murder." This time Billy is in Chicago and his past shows up in unexpected ways - a retired obnoxious cop, thugsvturned bodyguards, and the usual babes of beauty are all included in this midwest murder story. I can't wait for the next installment!

  23. 4 out of 5

    GammasWorld

    This is my second novel about Billy Blessing. It was okay. It was a nice break from the craziness called real life. I'm still not really connected with Billy as a character in a series so he's not like "someone I'm excited to know more about right now. Sounds like a guy that just stumbles into mess all the dang time. This is my second novel about Billy Blessing. It was okay. It was a nice break from the craziness called real life. I'm still not really connected with Billy as a character in a series so he's not like "someone I'm excited to know more about right now. Sounds like a guy that just stumbles into mess all the dang time.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris Marshall

    I couldn't even make it past page 5 without Al Roker inserting his garbage political views about how much Obama sucks and shouldn't be our president. Terrible. Keep your political shite out of your books, authors! I couldn't even make it past page 5 without Al Roker inserting his garbage political views about how much Obama sucks and shouldn't be our president. Terrible. Keep your political shite out of your books, authors!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Warren Bumpus

    I was majorly disappointed with this book. I have enjoyed the previous books in the series, but this was a major disappointment. The plot was forced, the characters were confusing... overall this may be the last one I'll read in the series. I was majorly disappointed with this book. I have enjoyed the previous books in the series, but this was a major disappointment. The plot was forced, the characters were confusing... overall this may be the last one I'll read in the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary Newcomb

    Billy Blessing is an interesting character: chef, talk show guy and part-time detective. This tale tells a bit of his history as well as sharing a Chicago based mystery or two. I think this is the last in the series, too bad as it is a great premise.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Easy, entertaining read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Loved it !!! Fast paced and in chicago ....

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    Good stories, would like to see more antagonism a little earlier to keep it moving.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Okay

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