Title: #FollowMe for Murder (Trending Topic Mysteries #1)
Author: Sarah E. Burr
Published on: 22 February 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Coco Cline, an influencer and celebrity blogger, has started her own social media consulting firm in her home town of Central Shores, Delaware. Her new clients Olivia and Sean Chen are ten days away from opening their specialty consignment store when Coco finds their clerk Stacy lying in a pool of blood.
The Chens are worried that their store might gain the wrong kind of spotlight so they ask Coco for help. As the Central Shores police and the county police clash, the case takes a backstage. There is a ‘competition’ for who finds the killer first – Central Shores or County police. But, in the process of ‘winning’ the game, a few clues might be overlooked. Coco decides to start her own investigation with the help of her friends Jasper and Charlotte, and her boyfriend Hudson.
#FollowMe for Murder is the first book in Sarah Burr’s Trending Topic Mystery series.
The mystery behind the murder kept me guessing till the end. The victim, Stacy, is not your usual girl-next-door. Turns out, her miss-goody-shoes was just a mask. As Coco and her friends start to investigate, they learn Stacy had an apartment in one of the post localities. This certainly isn’t possible with the salary the Chens were paying her.
Soon, the amateur sleuthing gang learn of Stacy’s numerous relationships. Though people close to her did not know of this, Stacy was dating… married men! Did one of the wives of her exes kill her? Or, did one of her sugar daddies?
I loved the concept of influencer turned amateur sleuth. But… Coco is not likeable! NOPE. She’s self-absorbed and a tad high on the ego. We have a long (very long!) introduction on how Coco started her gossip and lifestyle blog and how Facebook acquired it and yada, yada, yada… Goodness! Then an another story on what she did with the money she got from the Facebook buyout.
Wherever Coco goes, people recognize her; her fans go gaga over her. Coco makes it sound like social media influencing is a piece of cake – all you have to do is create an account, post pictures or talk celebrity gossip and you will get ten of thousands of likes in a matter of few hours. Wow! Only if that was true in real life!
The annoying part was Coco’s relationship. Her boyfriend Hudson works as a news reporter. Firstly, Coco is disappointed that he has proposed to her yet. They have been dating for over four and a half years now, you see… so they MUST be engaged by now. Coco’s words, not mine! Then, Hudson gains fame and people start going gaga over him – Coco gets an inferiority complex that people no longer ‘recognize’ her. *rolls eyes* Jealous, envy and expectations – way to go Coco. Good luck with your relationship!
The only reason I gave this book a 3.5 stars is because of the unlikeable and annoying protagonist. Coco was too self-centered for my liking and kinda ruined the read for me. Also, most of the ‘sleuthing’ happens through exclusive gossip columns, reports, dinners and lunches, and social media stalking – definitely not my kind of ‘sleuthing.’
Overall, #FollowMe for Murder by Sarah E. Burr was an okay read. I don’t think I would follow this series though.
I received an ARC from Level Best Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.