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Formula for Murder

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Bringing up baby--Bringing down a killer An over the top, good-time cozy mystery While taking baby Laurie to her very first Photo Shoot, sleuth and first-time mom Kate Connolly and her baby are the victims of a hit-and-run. Fortunately they escape unharmed, but when a witness identifies the car's French diplomatic license plates, Kate and her hubby try to get some an Bringing up baby--Bringing down a killer An over the top, good-time cozy mystery While taking baby Laurie to her very first Photo Shoot, sleuth and first-time mom Kate Connolly and her baby are the victims of a hit-and-run. Fortunately they escape unharmed, but when a witness identifies the car's French diplomatic license plates, Kate and her hubby try to get some answers. Soon they discover there's something going on at the French consulate that's dirtier-and far deadlier-than any diaper. It's up to Kate to keep Family Life on track while solving another puzzling whodunit! “A straightforward whodunit … chick lit meets noir in Diana Orgain’s fun mystery.” —The Mystery Gazette "A charming, gutsy, wry character who will make you laugh so hard you'll forget the labor pains." -Lousie Ure, Shamus Award-Winning Author "A fun, fast, cozy read that will keep its readers entertained and anxiously awaiting the next installment." —The Best Reviews


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Bringing up baby--Bringing down a killer An over the top, good-time cozy mystery While taking baby Laurie to her very first Photo Shoot, sleuth and first-time mom Kate Connolly and her baby are the victims of a hit-and-run. Fortunately they escape unharmed, but when a witness identifies the car's French diplomatic license plates, Kate and her hubby try to get some an Bringing up baby--Bringing down a killer An over the top, good-time cozy mystery While taking baby Laurie to her very first Photo Shoot, sleuth and first-time mom Kate Connolly and her baby are the victims of a hit-and-run. Fortunately they escape unharmed, but when a witness identifies the car's French diplomatic license plates, Kate and her hubby try to get some answers. Soon they discover there's something going on at the French consulate that's dirtier-and far deadlier-than any diaper. It's up to Kate to keep Family Life on track while solving another puzzling whodunit! “A straightforward whodunit … chick lit meets noir in Diana Orgain’s fun mystery.” —The Mystery Gazette "A charming, gutsy, wry character who will make you laugh so hard you'll forget the labor pains." -Lousie Ure, Shamus Award-Winning Author "A fun, fast, cozy read that will keep its readers entertained and anxiously awaiting the next installment." —The Best Reviews

30 review for Formula for Murder

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I wanted to give this a 1 star because I disliked the main character so much (worst PI ever,) but since the writing itself wasn't bad, I'm going for 2 since side characters were okay. I'll just jump straight to what I disliked. The main character, Kate, was basically an idiot who had no business being a PI. Seriously, she only managed to "solve" the mystery through wild guess work, zero evidence, and armchair PI work. Basically, she proved nothing and the murder, when revealed, just happened to r I wanted to give this a 1 star because I disliked the main character so much (worst PI ever,) but since the writing itself wasn't bad, I'm going for 2 since side characters were okay. I'll just jump straight to what I disliked. The main character, Kate, was basically an idiot who had no business being a PI. Seriously, she only managed to "solve" the mystery through wild guess work, zero evidence, and armchair PI work. Basically, she proved nothing and the murder, when revealed, just happened to reveal themselves. She never finds one single piece of actual evidence on anything or anybody. The entire mystery is her going from person to person, "interviewing" people she suspects (again, based on NO evidence,) and asking them the most basic, non-probing questions, and then leaving when they say they don't know anything, basically learning nothing. Or, she just threw random accusations at them to see if they'd just randomly confess based on no evidence. The woman had no game, never did any actual research or put together any strategy or serious theories. Everything on her part was pure conjecture. She just threw accusations around at everyone and gave away all her cards with no thought to the fact that the actual killer could use it to cover their tracks. Don't get me started on the Kevin speculation, totally wild guesses that just happened to turn out right because the author made it so. But the ending was totally laughable. First off, the moron puts herself in danger by mouthing off (again) to a suspect regarding what her next move is (again, no strategy or forethought that this might NOT be a good idea.) She is then surprised when that person shows up at the same place. But the BEST part was that, based on NO evidence, she attacks the person first, without any legally acceptable reason to do so, ending with serious consequences, and she faces NO legal repercussions for doing so. Let's think about this. There was absolutely NO evidence, other than her wild guesses, that the killer did the killing at all. In fact, the first killing was legally deemed solved and the second was ruled suicide. As such, when she attacked this person, who was doing nothing but crossing a yard to her, she was attacking a legally innocent person who had ZERO evidence against them. Then after the attack, when there is still no legal evidence against that person, she goes completely Scot-free for her actions? Of course, the author conveniently mentions how he was guilty because others said so, making everything she did okay. The more I write, the more I think I should downgrade to a 1. To sum up: Kate is an armchair PI who thinks being a PI means just going around and asking people the most basic, non-probing questions that any person off the street could ask. Suspects reveal nothing, she either moves on to another or randomly starts mouthing off the few facts she knows or some wild conjecture based on NO EVIDENCE at all, expecting them to break down and confess, but becoming frustrated when they don't?? She has no clue how to be stealth or play her cards close to her chest. She has no strategy, does no meaningful research, and not even circumstantial evidence to support her wild theories. The killer is revealed only when that person reveals themselves by showing up at the same place as her after she bragged she'd be there (even though she thought they were the killer, hey, why not,) She then does something that should get her arrested but somehow she just gets congratulated instead. Skip this if you want something remotely believable where the mystery is unraveled with actual clues. There were NO real clues in the entire story, minus 2 red herrings that went nowhere.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Formula for Murder: Maternal Instincts Mystery Series Book 3 by Diane Orgain. This mystery series is combined with a comedy to make people laugh at both PI’s and having a baby. The main characters in all the books are Jim, Kate, her Mom, Paula, Albert Galigani, and Inspector Patrick McNeary. Kenny, the neighbor boy takes a larger part as the series continues. Kate was headed home with Laurie when her car was rear-ended by a hit and run driver. However, she was able to see the driver and get the Formula for Murder: Maternal Instincts Mystery Series Book 3 by Diane Orgain. This mystery series is combined with a comedy to make people laugh at both PI’s and having a baby. The main characters in all the books are Jim, Kate, her Mom, Paula, Albert Galigani, and Inspector Patrick McNeary. Kenny, the neighbor boy takes a larger part as the series continues. Kate was headed home with Laurie when her car was rear-ended by a hit and run driver. However, she was able to see the driver and get the license tag number before turning her complete attention to getting Laurie out of the crushed car. She learns the driver was from the French Embassy who refuses to talk about it. Paula, her best friend, comes home from France and has an invitation to the party. There they discover the Consul is having an affair and no one wants to talk to Kate about Armond Remy but someone wants to kill him.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gigi Ann

    First-time Mom, Kate Connolly may have found the perfect work-from-home mommy job: private investigator. After all, the hours are flexible, she can bring the baby along on stakeouts, and if you're going to be up all night anyway, you might as well solve some crimes.... Kate and little Laurie are on their way to take baby's first-holiday photos when they become the victims of a hit-and-run. Luckily they escape unharmed, and a witness identifies the car's French diplomatic license plates. When Kate First-time Mom, Kate Connolly may have found the perfect work-from-home mommy job: private investigator. After all, the hours are flexible, she can bring the baby along on stakeouts, and if you're going to be up all night anyway, you might as well solve some crimes.... Kate and little Laurie are on their way to take baby's first-holiday photos when they become the victims of a hit-and-run. Luckily they escape unharmed, and a witness identifies the car's French diplomatic license plates. When Kate and her hubby, Jim try to get some answers at the consulate, they get le cold shoulder--but not before noticing a pair of television reporters exiting the building. A few days later, the dead body of one of the reporters is found in Golden Gate Park. Kate wonders if there's a connection to the consulate, and is hired by the dead reporter's husband to get some answers. And she'll have to uncover a plot that's dirtier--and far deadlier--than any diaper... This is a fun cozy mystery with a spunky heroine, lots of humor, plenty of intrigue, suspense, and a cute little baby thrown in the fix. The novel is a fun, fast, cozy read that kept me entertained. It was a delightful treat to read. This was the third book in the "A Maternal Instincts Mystery" series. I don't know if it is the last book in the series or not, but if there is another one in the series I will be willing to read it also.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura de Leon

    A light, fun read! Kate's baby is slowly but surely growing up, and Kate's getting started launching her new life as a PI. Her priority at the moment is Laurie's first Christmas, and it's while they are on the way for Christmas photos that she's the victim of a hit and run accident. Once it's clear the police aren't going to do anything about the incident, Kate wants to take matters into her own hands. When this investigation brings her a client that will pay her to continue, she doesn't have a c A light, fun read! Kate's baby is slowly but surely growing up, and Kate's getting started launching her new life as a PI. Her priority at the moment is Laurie's first Christmas, and it's while they are on the way for Christmas photos that she's the victim of a hit and run accident. Once it's clear the police aren't going to do anything about the incident, Kate wants to take matters into her own hands. When this investigation brings her a client that will pay her to continue, she doesn't have a choice, right? Except that she's on a stakeout when Laurie rolls over for the first time. And she misses Laurie's (rescheduled) Christmas photos. Her mother is happy to help out, but that doesn't make Kate feel any better. This is a typical cozy in that the mystery isn't really the point of this book. It does a nice job of leading Kate to meet interesting people and make discoveries about her life, and that's really what I want in a book like this one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen B.

    Good mystery and I liked the interplay between characters. Read this to get more in the Christmas spirit. Could really identify with the "maternal instincts" aspect. The main character is trying to solve a mystery but her maternal instincts always come first. I think any new mom could related to the things she experiences with her infant. Good mystery and I liked the interplay between characters. Read this to get more in the Christmas spirit. Could really identify with the "maternal instincts" aspect. The main character is trying to solve a mystery but her maternal instincts always come first. I think any new mom could related to the things she experiences with her infant.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    Quirky cozy I enjoyed this story. It had many laugh out loud moments and the mystery itself was interesting. Kate and her family are good characters and the writing is smooth and concise. The author has a good style of writing that keeps the reader captivated.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lora Shouse

    I love fledgling private eye Kate Connoly. Even if she is sometimes a bit too panicky. But then again, sometimes a little panic is justified. This time Kate gets tangled up in affairs at the French Consulate. Including literal affairs. But mostly murders. It begins with a minor official from the consulate rear-ending her at a red light when the baby is in the car and then taking off. Somebody notices that the license indicates it belongs to the consulate. So, at the first opportunity, Kate and Ji I love fledgling private eye Kate Connoly. Even if she is sometimes a bit too panicky. But then again, sometimes a little panic is justified. This time Kate gets tangled up in affairs at the French Consulate. Including literal affairs. But mostly murders. It begins with a minor official from the consulate rear-ending her at a red light when the baby is in the car and then taking off. Somebody notices that the license indicates it belongs to the consulate. So, at the first opportunity, Kate and Jim stop by the consulate to try and find the culprit. The guy looked so young they at first think it might be somebody’s son. But when they try to talk to somebody in charge there, they are just given the runaround. Things rapidly go from bad to worse. Kate’s friend, Paula, manages to get an invitation to a Christmas party at the consulate and takes Kate so they can snoop around. But although Kate manages to catch the consul kissing a mysterious someone on the balcony, they mostly get in trouble for being where they shouldn’t be without finding much out. A reporter they saw at the consulate turns up dead in a park near her boyfriend’s house. And her ex-husband hires Kate to find out who did it. There is some evidence the reporter was to meet with the man who hit Kate, so Kate goes to his apartment to talk to him and finds him dead too. It’s been made to look like suicide, but Kate thinks this is murder too. She had just wanted to give the guy a piece of her mind – not actually kill him! This one gets truly dangerous for Kate by the end. But she does manage to find out both who killed the reporter, and why the guy who hit her didn’t stop.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zena

    This is a Cozy Mystery that reads easily and kept my interest throughout. It is about a new mom juggling her motherly duties and her new profession as a private investigator. She seems to be a magnet for death and discovers several during her investigation of the staff of the French Embassy. There are a few good laughs to be had throughout the story but I loved her absolute delight when her baby daughter becomes aware of her as a person. Diana Orgain has also narrated her book and she does a good j This is a Cozy Mystery that reads easily and kept my interest throughout. It is about a new mom juggling her motherly duties and her new profession as a private investigator. She seems to be a magnet for death and discovers several during her investigation of the staff of the French Embassy. There are a few good laughs to be had throughout the story but I loved her absolute delight when her baby daughter becomes aware of her as a person. Diana Orgain has also narrated her book and she does a good job with this in this version of the audiobook.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Argum

    Now a PI in training we stumble on yet another case when they are rear ended by a French diplomatic car. Then things get weird and shady when they try to get an answer on the driver and see two reporters outside. When one is found dead the next day, another case has fallen in the lap of our mommy investigator. This is pretty heavy on some breast is best guilt. Cutesy is getting over the top to me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    A little too much new-mother angst for me; a little too much "oh, I can work my way into any setting and get answers" as well. I realize the series is meant to be light-hearted and humorous, but the mystery got solved in spite of Kate's P.I. skills. She didn't really ask pertinent questions of anybody, she didn't investigate. She just guessed/had a feeling about things. And that she got so close to so many French Embassy folks - HA! It was ok, but I won't read any more in the series. A little too much new-mother angst for me; a little too much "oh, I can work my way into any setting and get answers" as well. I realize the series is meant to be light-hearted and humorous, but the mystery got solved in spite of Kate's P.I. skills. She didn't really ask pertinent questions of anybody, she didn't investigate. She just guessed/had a feeling about things. And that she got so close to so many French Embassy folks - HA! It was ok, but I won't read any more in the series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nada Baydoun

    Interesting Book Another lovely book by Diana Orgain, this time with a diplomatic twist.I also loved all the characters from Jim and Laurie to Marie's mom and her best friend Paula. Interesting Book Another lovely book by Diana Orgain, this time with a diplomatic twist.I also loved all the characters from Jim and Laurie to Marie's mom and her best friend Paula.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anna Payne

    I love the to do lists Being a compulsive list maker myself, I laughed at every list and references to them. Still waiting on a cat to show up at some point. Came for the cat stayed for the list So!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Fredenburgh

    When Kate is rear-ended by a car from the French Embassy she tries to find the driver and gets involved in murder, lies, and adultery. With help from her friend Paula, her Mom, her mentor Galigani, and Kenny, her next door neighbor she jumps in and finds more murder and deception. Fun reading!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Werkman

    Cute mystery I enjoyed Diana's style of writing. She kept me guessing right up until the end on who did it. Very entertaining and I would tell everyone to read it. Thank you. Cute mystery I enjoyed Diana's style of writing. She kept me guessing right up until the end on who did it. Very entertaining and I would tell everyone to read it. Thank you.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Another good mystery!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    I really like where she takes this series. The parenting asides are great, the "To Do List" are great. I really like where she takes this series. The parenting asides are great, the "To Do List" are great.

  17. 5 out of 5

    rainyfeathers

    Place holder for small books that are info published

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lori Cannon

    Entertaining Entertaining but too many extra details which made it easy to put the story down. Never explained the reasons for the murders.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Osborn

    The story was better. The reader was annoying. Sorry. Not funny. Not a fan.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    To Do: 1. Read (the book) 2. Write (the review) 3. Post (on Amazon and Goodreads) I enjoyed the To Do lists, the story, and I recommend the book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Listened to audiobook.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maddie Sneary

    What a funny and talented writer. Mom juggling new baby, hubby, and new PI career. Can she do it all???? Read to find out, but should start with first book in the series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marielle Trudel

    Entertaining personalities. I personally can’t relate to Kate and her ambitious career plans, but I enjoy reading about her adventures.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    A good easy read and it keeps moving.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sally Sloane

    Chaos or genius? The heroine is a lot like Agatha Raisin as she stumbles onto the truth at long last, but does so rather charmingly.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    was much fun to read looking forward to getting and reading the next I love this series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Good This book was very good, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first two. Probably just a personal preference. The characters are well developed and it is a good story. I would recommend this and all of her books! Good This book was very good, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first two. Probably just a personal preference. The characters are well developed and it is a good story. I would recommend this and all of her books!

  28. 5 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Kate and baby Laurie are on their way to get Laurie's first Christmas photos taken when their car is hit at high speed by another car and the other car doesn't even stop, just drives away. Thankfully both Kate and Laurie are physically fine. A witness to the accident gets the license plate and a good description of the offending car. The car is from a fleet from the French Embassy and of course, they claim diplomatic immunity. Kate's husband Jim wants answers and they head straight for the embas Kate and baby Laurie are on their way to get Laurie's first Christmas photos taken when their car is hit at high speed by another car and the other car doesn't even stop, just drives away. Thankfully both Kate and Laurie are physically fine. A witness to the accident gets the license plate and a good description of the offending car. The car is from a fleet from the French Embassy and of course, they claim diplomatic immunity. Kate's husband Jim wants answers and they head straight for the embassy, but get nowhere fast. As they are leaving the embassy they notice two television reporters leaving right behind them and wonder what may be so newsworthy at the French embassy. Just a few days later, one of the reporters is found murdered in Golden Gate Park. Kate's mind goes into overdrive as she wonders if there is any connection to the death and the French embassy. Then the husband of the slain reporter contacts Kate to investigate who killed his wife. What she uncovers is a lot more than a little spilled milk, I mean formula. Boy, this protagonist has spunk and it is very easy to fall for her and her cute little girl in a New York minute. Her mother is priceless and her husband is so supportive and understanding. If I would have come home after giving birth to my infant and told my husband I was going to stay home and be a private investigator on the side, he would have hit the roof and then sent me to have my head examined. Enter Diana Orgain, the author that makes this whole idea not only believable, but grabs you in such a way that you climb right in the stroller and go along for the ride. My youngest son was in an accident last August where his car was sitting completely stopped at a traffic light when another car plowed into the back of his car at such a high rate of speed that she hit his car and spun his car around and hit his car again on the driver's side. Witnesses were shocking to see my son who is 6'5" crawl out of that car virtually unscathed except for bruises, back and neck pain that developed later. The first chapter of this book brought it right back to my mind in living color. The feelings of wanting answers were portrayed exactly to the letter of how my husband and I felt. The driver that hit my son's car stopped but gave a bunch of false information so we had to solve a mystery ourselves, but thankfully there were no dead bodies, secret plots or French officials standing in our way. This author's writing style is crisp and the stories are fast moving with intrigue, suspense and humor that makes this whole series wonderfully entertaining. This entire series should be on your MUST READ list!!! Hit your local bookstore or use the links below to order your copies today! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  29. 5 out of 5

    Judie

    Aspiring PI Kate was driving her car when it was hit by another car. She had her three-month-old daughter with her and, luckily, neither of them was injured. The driver of the other car sped away, but a witness provided enough information that the police were able to determine that the car belonged to someone at the French Embassy. Having diplomatic plates meant there was no way to arrest the other driver. But when a reporter covering the story is killed, her husband hires Kate to help find he Aspiring PI Kate was driving her car when it was hit by another car. She had her three-month-old daughter with her and, luckily, neither of them was injured. The driver of the other car sped away, but a witness provided enough information that the police were able to determine that the car belonged to someone at the French Embassy. Having diplomatic plates meant there was no way to arrest the other driver. But when a reporter covering the story is killed, her husband hires Kate to help find her killer. The French Embassy figures into this case as well. Diana Orgain’s descriptions of a new mother, trying to balance her fledgling career with being involved in her new daughter’s life are somewhat inconsistent. I don’t think a woman breastfeeding her child would be gone from her so often and for such extended periods of time. She’s upset that she misses some important “firsts,” but she can’t have it both ways. She also has unrealistic expectations for her baby, i.e., enrolling her is an Art Exploration Class. She’s upset to find that her friend has given Laurie a breadstick. Laurie has never had solid food. The friend has young children and would know how dangerous that could be. The book has some interesting descriptions: “Curled up like a little sow bug on his shoulder.”and humor, some of it sarcastic, (“I’m scared about brain damage,” I confessed to her. “Why are you scared?...You’ve lived your whole life with it.”), some insight (“Did you know that just the sound of a baby’s cry makes your blood pressure rise?”), and some contradictions (On one page: The Christmas tree was made up of different size LED lightbulbs and gave off a soft white light and an annoying hum. On the next page: “They’re using up enough power to light up San Francisco for a day.” LED bulbs do not use that much power.), saying she was concerned because her to-do list was growing longer (There were five items on that day. That was one of the shortest ones. On a previous day, there were ten.) I could identify with one of her insights: “My theory is that designer dresses are cut large to make you feel slim as you drop a ton of money on them. Paula tried to reassure me that the reverse was true, but I didn’t believe her.” One time when I was looking for a suit or dress for my wedding, the saleswoman brought me almost a dozen outfits in sizes ranging from 6 to 14. The smaller the size, the higher the price. Her main grammatical error was not knowing the correct use of the first person pronouns: “He watched the exchange between Jean-Luc and I....”“He came between Nancy and I....” “She hovered over both Galigani and I.” The story is a fast-read, somewhat formulaic cozy mystery. It’s one of a series, but the first, and likely the last one I’ll read. This book was a free Amazon download.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Suspense Magazine

    “Formula for Murder” is the latest in the Maternal Instincts Mystery series from Diana Orgain. She hooks the reader in right away with her clever chapter headings. Well, not chapter headings, exactly. Each chapter begins with a “To Do” list, like some of us begin our day. And as the life of first-time mom Kate Connolly—the likeable protagonist—becomes more and more complicated, so does the “To Do” list. Just like in the real world. Kate has found what she thinks is the perfect work-from-home momm “Formula for Murder” is the latest in the Maternal Instincts Mystery series from Diana Orgain. She hooks the reader in right away with her clever chapter headings. Well, not chapter headings, exactly. Each chapter begins with a “To Do” list, like some of us begin our day. And as the life of first-time mom Kate Connolly—the likeable protagonist—becomes more and more complicated, so does the “To Do” list. Just like in the real world. Kate has found what she thinks is the perfect work-from-home mommy job: private investigator. The hours are flexible, she can bring baby Laurie along on stakeouts, and if you’re going to be up all night anyway, why not solve a few crimes in between feedings? Kate and Laurie are on their way to accomplish a top priority on the “To Do” list, getting Laurie’s first holiday photo taken, when they are victims of a hit and run. A witness identifies the car’s French diplomatic license plates. Sacre bleu! Do we have the beginnings of an international incident? When Kate and her husband Jim try to get some answers at the consulate, they’re given le brush off, but not before they notice a pair of local, television reporters leaving the consulate. A few days later, one of the reporters is found dead in Golden Gate Park. Kate the Private Investigator, suspects there’s a connection to the consulate, and she’s hired by the dead reporter’s husband to get some answers. Then, another dead body turns up: the driver of the car that rear-ended Kate and Laurie. Ooh la la! What’s going on? This is a fun, fast read as Kate tries to juggle her new mommy status with her equally new private investigator status. I can’t wait for the next one in this series! Reviewed by Susan Santangelo author of “Moving Can Be Murder” for Suspense Magazine

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