Review: The After Party
Montelake Publishing
November 2021
Romantic Suspense
REVIEWER: Brenda Larnell | RATING: A
REVIEW: Add a new writing missile to the arsenal of A.C. Arthur’s works. THE AFTER PARTY is an intriguing who-dunit that revolves around the friendship of three women who work for the same company, Billings Croft Construction (BCC). The women, Jackie Benson, Venus McGee, and Draya Carter become the best of friends when they become involved in the murder of a co-worker.

Working at BCC is stressful enough without adding the murder of Rufus Jackson, a fine but petty, vindictive boss. The story opens at a company Christmas party where the ladies are sharing their thoughts about the low-life VP of Operations, Rufus Jackson. Sitting together at the party, sipping on Hennessy, they relate their stories about their encounters with Rufus on the job and off the job, along with his equally hated sidekick, Ellen, the office manager. After a rather nasty exchange between Venus and Rufus, Venus and the ladies decide to take the party to “the next level”, an after party at Venus’ apartment. It’s in the wee hours of the morning when Draya gets a phone call from Rufus summoning her to his home. It’s at this point in the story that the storyline takes off, and we find the three women in the throes of a murder investigation. It’s a wild ride that incorporates love, sex, a second murder, and a lot of self-examination on the part of the ladies. I love this story, especially the emphasis on the women’s friendship, and what it really means to stick together through the good and the bad. Their bond is authentic. Believe me, Draya, Jackie and Venus’ friendship is pushed to the limit. Added to the mayhem, A. C. Arthur throws in a little romance, the proverbial cherry-on-top, for extra measure.

The side characters add to the intrigue by either supporting or suspecting the main characters. The minor characters also contribute to a lot of family drama and back-stabbing office politics that each of the three heroines has to deal with. My favorite heroine is pistol-packing Jackie who is unapologetically a gay woman. Kudos to Ms Arthur for including a character from the LGBTQ community. I also like how each woman, Draya, Venus, and Jackie emerge from the whole experience emotionally stronger. Let me add, I was completely surprised by the reveal. You will be, too.

HE AFTER PARTY is a strong, captivating first murder mystery effort by the creative A.C. Arthur. I recommend it for your reading pleasure.

19th November 2021 |