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Book Review – SCENE STEALER by Elise Warner

Scene Stealer – Elise Warner

Elise Warner’s debut novel Scene Stealer is a cozy mystery with attitude.

“For a moment our eyes met; his were frightened, seeking help. Was it my imagination gone wild? No. After all those years of teaching elementary school, I knew this child was afraid.”

After a chance encounter on the subway, Miss Augusta Weidenmaier, a retired schoolteacher living in New York’s Greenwich Village, is determined to help the police in the search for missing nine-year-old child actor Kevin Corcoran. Never mind that she has no training in law enforcement-she spent decades teaching. She knows when someone is lying.

Once set upon a course of action, the indomitable Miss Weidenmaier cannot be swayed-or intimidated. Facing down megalomaniacal business executives, stuck-up celebrities, pushy stage mothers and a rabble-rousing talk show host, Miss Weidenmaier will stop at nothing-not even the disapproval of one Lieutenant Brown of the NYPD, who does not take kindly to amateur sleuthing-to bring young Kevin home.

Book Review

I thoroughly enjoyed Scene Stealer – one of the best cozy mysteries I’ve read this year actually.

When we decide to read a cozy mystery we are looking for the warm and fuzzy elements that come with this genre – an amateur sleuth we will barrack for, bad guys that have sinister intentions but somehow are still safe enough to confront without a weapon, and a satisfying conclusion where good triumphs over evil! Elise Warner has combined all these ingredients in a refreshing way in Scene Stealer.

I simply adored spunky protagonist Miss Augusta Weidenmaier – the feisty spinster who does not let age, lack of experience, or any well meaning policeman stop her from solving the mystery and saving the world from abuses of the English language while she’s at it.

She swiveled her chair toward the desktop computer then back toward me. “Can I help you with something?”

“May I, dear.” I could not resist correcting the woman.

“Can means ‘am able’. Do not confuse the word as a substitute for may. I would suggest the purchase of a book titled The Elements of Style. An invaluable purchase for a person in your position.”

I really enjoyed Warner’s writing style – smart and witty while still remaining very accessible. The humour used really struck a chord with me, and I found myself grinning while reading on several occasions.

I highly recommend Elise Warner’s Scene Stealer to fans of cozy mysteries – it was a fun and entertaining read. I look forward to reading the next Augusta Weidenmaier mystery!

BOOK RATING: The Writing 4 / 5 ;  The Story 4 / 5

BOOK DETAILS: Scene Stealer is available in Kindle ebook format from Amazon (very keenly priced) and will be available in audio format from in October 2010.

Genre: Mystery, Crime-Detective, Thriller

elise+warnerAuthor Information: Elise Warner biographical information and portfolio of works.

Other Resources:

A big thank you to Carina Press (digital book publishers) for providing a copy of Scene Stealer for review purposes.


My receiving this book free of charge for the purpose of review did not in anyway influence my expression of my honest thoughts and feelings about this book.

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