Making It Write

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Pub Date 02 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2022

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Description

Writer for Hire Veronica Blackstone's latest client is writing a memoir with a shocking twist ending, until she's found dead before finishing it. Can Veronica unravel the clues within the memoir to discover the killer?

As a writer for hire, Veronica Blackstone puts her keyboard to use to help others. That includes writing advertising copy for local businesses or love letters for those with romantic troubles, or helping people publish their memoirs. Maeve Winslow needs the latter.

Maeve is the wife of a famous artist nominated for a prestigious award, and the memoir is to be released ahead of the ceremony. All of Maeve's notes are given to Veronica but for the final few pages. There's a huge surprise within those last pages, but Maeve won't reveal it yet.

When Maeve is found dead at the foot of her stairs it looks like an accident, but Veronica isn't convinced. Was the scene staged? Was Maeve murdered to keep her silent? Could clues to the surprise, and the identity of the murderer, be hidden within the notes? It's up to Veronica to figure it out and write the real story.

Writer for Hire Veronica Blackstone's latest client is writing a memoir with a shocking twist ending, until she's found dead before finishing it. Can Veronica unravel the clues within the memoir to...


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ISBN 9780727850935
PRICE $29.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 21 members


Featured Reviews

Can’t Catch A Break…
The third Writer For Hire mystery and another dead client for Veronica. Sometimes she just can’t catch a break. This client, Maeve Winslow, was in the process of writing a memoir she never got to finish. Veronica has her notes and knows that there was an undisclosed section that Maeve was keeping back as a surprise insert. When Maeve is discovered dead at the foot of the stairs it appears to be an unfortunate accident. Veronica thinks that it may have been staged that way. With her sleuthing hat firmly attached once again Veronica is determined to get to the bottom of this, find out what Maeve was intending to write and write it for her - at the same time as, perhaps, finding a killer. Enjoyable and well paced mystery with a likeable and interesting protagonist in Veronica, a deftly drawn cast and an immersive narrative. Perhaps the best in the series to date.

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Maeve is the wife of a famous artist nominated for a prestigious award. She hires writer for hire Veronica Blackstone to help write her memoir, scheduled to be released ahead of the ceremony. Maeve gives all of her notes for the book to Veronica to look over but before they even begin, Maeve is found dead at the foot of the stairs in her home. Veronica is convinced Maeve was murdered but someone staged her death to look like an accident. Maeve's hostile husband and hateful daughter want the book stopped. Veronica scours the notes Maeve gave her looking for clues to unmask the killer.. This was a very good read that had me hooked from the very first page. Thank you for the advance copy netgalley. I really enjoyed this book!

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The premise behind this one intrigued me. A "writer for hire" is caught up in the murder of the woman who hired her to help her bring her book to publication. As writer Veronica discovers, the book is far from complete and, in fact, the victim, Maeve, had told her she was holding back the ending until later, hence Veronica can only rely on the very sparse and occasionally erratic manuscript to help her fill in the missing chunks. The publisher still wants the book and, well, Veronica is already driven to not just finish the book but ensure that justice is done for Maeve. Unfortunately, someone, including Maeve's celebrity artist husband, Michael Angel, famous for his paintings of a Scottie dog, doesn't want the book written. Toss in complications in Veronica's own life and, well, it makes for an interesting story.

I did find myself alternately liking and being exasperated with Veronica. To use a cliche, something she repeatedly voiced her dislike of, she tended to get on my last nerve. While initially I found her almost stream of consciousness thought patterns intriguing, offering insight into a writer's thoughts, if you will, after awhile they seemed to bog the plot down. She also needed to figure out what is going on with Ben. Ben is handy to give her the police take on certain things, like ways time of death can be determined, but he comes off as a bit of a wuss, too, regarding his ex, er, sorta ex, oh, wait, let me rephrase that. His supposedly former wife who didn't sign the divorce papers and is thus still legally his wife. Talk about relationship complications. Yet, I found myself liking both these characters and aside from the not-quite-ex, the other side characters, as well. This included some quirky members of Veronica's writing group.

I'm not sure Veronica initially grasped the danger she might be in after Maeve was possibly murdered to stop the book that she insisted on completing, but her determination to live up to commitments was admirable. So, who killed Maeve? Why? Why did Suzzanna Angel take such an immediate dislike to Veronica? Why was the book such a secret? Did the publisher know how it was to end? Who profited from Michael Angel's success? How did he get famous anyway? Why do some writing group members refuse to read another member's writings? Will Veronica ever come clean about breaking that coffee cup? Wouldn't you love to see the gluey mess she made trying to fix it? Why....oh, never mind. Not sharing any more. You'll have to read the book to find out the answers to these questions, not to mention find out where the Ben and Veronica relationship seems to be headed. As many times as I rolled my eyes at her, I still wanted to know what happened and how, so it was fun.

Thanks to #NetGalley and #SevernHouse for allowing me to spend some time in Veronical's mind as she tries to both track down a murderer and finish a book.

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When the wife a famous artist contacts Veronica for help in writing a memoir, Veronica is a bit intrigued by the air of mystery around the ending, which the woman will reveal as they get to that part of the story. Sadly, after being hired, Veronica goes to meet with the woman and start writing…only to find her laying dead at the bottom of the stairs. While paid and asked to continue to the book by the publisher, the artist husband tries to stop the book. But Veronica is committed to finishing it and finding out whether the woman fell to her death or was helped along. Believing the latter, Veronica puts herself in danger, but the writer must finish the story and that means finding out what happened to Maeve.

A great series, smart and well written. Likable and relatable characters and I’m a Scottie Mom, so the Scottie paintings were a real incentive for me. So glad I found this series. I’ll be back for more.

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Throughly enjoyed this mystery and was happy to discover this is book 3 in the series, so I have two more to read. The book was fine as a stand-alone without previously reading the other two first. Veronica is a writer for hire, which is an unusual concept that I found refreshing and loved. She will write ad copy, cards, ghost write a book, you name it, so is happy when Maeve hires her to pull together her memoir about her famous artist husband and herself. She gives Veronica her hardcopy notes but before they can get started Veronica finds her dead. With a plethora of suspects this is a fun lighthearted mystery.
The covers on this and the other two books are perfect and some of the best I’ve seen, and the title is wonderful as well.

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Love this series! It has everything I love in a cozy. Awesome characters. Lots of red herrings. A solid mystery! It will grab your interest from the first and will keep your intrigued until the end. Thanks #netgalley and #SevernHouse for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

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While working on her next novel, Veronica pays the bills by working as a writer for hire, writing everything from advertising copy to whatever people will pay her to write. When the wife of a famous painter hires her to help with her memoir, she gives Veronica all of her notes except the final handful of pages. Maeve promises a big surprise will be revealed, but when she is found dead at the bottom of the stairs and the police rule it an accident, Veronica doesn’t believe that’s the real story.

I found book #3 in this series to be just as good as the first two. I’ve only spent a weekend in Chicago, and that was years ago, but I grew up on one of the Great Lakes, so I know how cold and blustery it can be, and I felt the wind biting through me as I read the book. I like most of the recurring characters, and am enjoying watching their relationships develop as the series progresses. I think it would be fun to be part of Veronica’s Tuesday night writing group, even though I have never had the desire to write for publication.

There weren’t a whole lot of serious suspects to consider, which made it hard to try to figure out who was responsible for Maeve’s death. As the story continued, I narrowed down my mental list to just a few people, but I was surprised when one of the outliers on my list was identified as the culprit. Given that information, the motive made sense, but I’m not sure I would have been able to figure it out otherwise. I look forward to reading the next book in this series, if it continues.

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I really enjoyed this book, the characters, the plot, the setting and the history of clichés. This has everything needed for a great mystery read: the puzzle, the suspects, the red herrings, the clever amateur sleuth and the dozy detective. Definitely want to read more by this author.

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Veronica is a little baffled as to why Maeve hired her to write her memoir but hey. that's how she makes her living so she helps shape the manuscript and then... she finds Maeve dead at the bottom of the stairs. Maeve's husband Michael is an artist famous for his paintings of dogs and he doesn't want the book published for some reason, but why? Veronica goes looking for answers, endangering herself and her relationship with her love interest Ben (who has his own issues). It's a light cozy read with an interesting heroine. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

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Why do I often discover a new-to-me series in book three? I guess it’s a test of the story, that it can be read as a stand-alone rather than needing to start at the beginning of the series so I understand the backstory.

Veronica Blackstone is a writer for hire. She writes advertising copy, love letters for people who can’t express themselves in words, and ghost writing. In Making it Write, she is engaged by Maeve Winslow, the wife of a famous artist nominated for a prestigious award. Maeve needs Veronica’s assistance with her memoir and she passes on all her notes to Veronica, bar the vital final few pages. Then Maeve is found dead at the foot of her stairs.

Veronica has doubts about the ‘accidental’ nature of Maeve’s death. Was she murdered to hide a secret that would be revealed in those last pages of her memoir? Veronica sets out to unravel the clues and discover the murderer.

Making it Write is a comfortable cosy mystery. I’m keen to read the first two novels in the series now to learn more of Veronica’s involvement in the world of words and murder.

Thank you to Severn House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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Making It Write
by Betty Hechtma
Pub Date 02 Aug 2022
Severn House
Mystery & Thrillers


I am reviewing a copy of Making It Write through Severn House and Netgalley:




Veronica Blackstone works as a writer for hire, because she puts her keyboard to use to help others. Including writing advertising copy for local businesses or love letters for those with romantic troubles, or helping people publish their memoirs. Maeve Winslow needs the latter.



Maeve is the wife of a famous artist nominated for a prestigious award, and the memoir is to be released ahead of the ceremony. All of Maeve's notes are given to Veronica but for the final few pages. There's a huge surprise within those last pages, but Maeve won't reveal it yet.



After Maeve is found dead the foot of her stairs it looks like an accident, but Veronica isn't convinced. Was the scene staged? Was Maeve murdered to keep her silent? Could clues to the surprise, and the identity of the murderer, be hidden within the notes? It's up to Veronica to figure it out and write the real story.




I give Make It Write five out of five stars!


Happy Reading!

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Such a good series and so few instalments! This is another well plotted and gripping mystery that kept me guessing and hooked.
I love Veronica Blackstone and this story is compelling and highly entertaining.
I can't wait to read the next one.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Making It Write by Betty Hechtman from Net Galley and Severn House Publishers in order to read and give an honest review.

…a good cozy mystery with a uniquely intriguing plot and quirky cast of characters which made it a fun fast-paced cozy…

When “writer for hire” Veronica Blackstone discovers the body of Maeve, a woman she was hired by to write a memoir of sorts although it looks like an accident, certain clues make the death look suspicious. Armed with a really rough and incomplete draft from Maeve, Veronica is instructed by the publisher that she is to honor the contract and finish the memoir based on the materials she received from Maeve. Thing is, Maeve wanted to save the ending for last, keeping it a secret until Veronica was ready to write it. The memoir is about life with her husband Michael Angel, a famous artist who has received sudden acclaim and all the trappings that come with it. With an upcoming documentary, celebrity status and an award ceremony around the corner Michael and his daughter are desperate to put a stop to the memoir but to what lengths will they go to make sure it does not see the light of day. The more she delves into finishing the memoir, the more Veronica learns about Maeve’s life and what might have led to her demise.

Having read the previous books in the series, “Making it Write” was a fun, action filled entry although perhaps not my favorite. We see the return of a unique and quirky cast of characters including a crazy client, her writing group, Ben, her best friend, Tizzy and Tizzy’s husband Theo. I was not crazy about the storyline with Ben and their rocky romance, but I really enjoyed reading more about Tizzy and Theo this time around it gave the story a three musketeers’ feel. It also feels that this time there was quite a bit of repetition when describing “cliches” and her tea and crochet ritual, I feel they were brought up too often and really did not add to the story, once, maybe twice would have been suffice.

Overall, it was a good cozy mystery with a uniquely intriguing plot and quirky cast of characters which made it a fun fast-paced cozy that I highly recommend.

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Making it Write by Betty Hechtman is the third in the Writer for Hire mystery series and fast becoming one of my very favorite cozies. Veronica Blackstone is a writer for hire, helping others with any writing need whether it’s advertising copy, celebrations of life, or love letters. This profession creates the perfect opportunity for her to meet new people and to discover new bodies! What a fresh and original take for a cozy!

Veronica has only one active client and is helping him pen endless apology letters, for what she is not sure, to his wife. She then lands a lucrative contract collaborating on a memoir with a local woman - until murder interrupts. Life, especially hers, seems to always have an interesting twist in store and another murder to solve.

I love this protagonist! I find her refreshing and true-to-life. The supporting characters are well-conceived and people that I would like to have as friends. There is always a twist in the plot and plenty of red herrings in this well-crafted series, which is fast becoming one of my favorites. (I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy and all opinions are my own.)

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I was interested to learn that this was the third book in the series – a fact I only discovered when searching for a copy of the cover after I’d finished the book. So if you are hesitating about plunging into the middle of a series, then don’t be. At no point did I feel I was missing vital information – in fact all the way through this one, I was under the impression that it was the first book in the series.

Part of the reason why I felt I was reading the first book is the pacing. It’s very leisurely – to the point that I’d begun to wonder if there was going to be a murder at all. That said, I enjoyed Hechtman’s smooth, accomplished writing and quickly bonded with the main protagonist, who narrates the story in first-person viewpoint, which meant that I wasn’t too worried. But I will say that if you prefer your murder mysteries to move along at a fair clip with regular dollops of action along the way, then this one might not tick the boxes for you.

Veronica doesn’t have a front row seat as to what is happening – and I did enjoy the fact that the police were in no mood to pour out all the details to her just because she has published a fictional detective story. So her initial sense of wrongness about Maeve’s death is gradually strengthened by the accretion of minor details. I really liked the premise – and the fact that Maeve hasn’t conveniently written down all the major issues surrounding her wish to write a memoir. In the circumstances, that wouldn’t have made sense, given that she knew the huge secret surrounding her husband’s sudden fame and had no reason to think she wouldn’t be in the middle of the project. And the final twist is a doozy – I had considered it fleetingly right at the beginning of the story, but Hechtman nicely redirects us with a strong line-up of plausible suspects. Overall, this is an enjoyable, well-plotted murder mystery featuring a sympathetic heroine. Recommended for fans of murder mysteries that concentrate more on characters and motivations and less on the gore and action. While I obtained an arc of Making It Write from the publishers via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.
8/10

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