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"Maxine Nunes crafts an outstanding tale of friendship, murder, love, and betrayal in her impressive debut, Dazzled ....Nunes' writing is top-notch from start to finish, and the increasingly suspenseful plot comes together with meticulous precision." -- ForeWord Reviews

During a brutal L.A. heatwave, four people are murdered in the Hollywood Hills and Nikki Easton's best friend Darla Ward has disappeared. The police think she might be one of the victims.
In her relentless search for the truth, Nikki discovers the hidden side of her friend's life, laying bare secrets buried before Darla was born, and uncovering widening layers of corruption that reach far beyond Hollywood to the highest levels of government.

256 pages, Hardcover

First published November 1, 2013

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5 stars
24 (44%)
4 stars
17 (31%)
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11 (20%)
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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Julie .
4,029 reviews58.9k followers
November 20, 2013
Dazzled by Maxine Nunes is a November 2013 release published by Five Star Mystery a division of Gale/Cengage. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Nikki Easton's best friend is MIA. Something is off and Nikki is very concerned about her friend. Nikki's worst fears come to fruition when the body of a badly beaten woman is found.

But, Nikki can't get the idea out of her mind that the unrecognizable dead women is not Darla. This idea gets the attention of a detective who visits Nikki to discuss the case.

Nikki decides she will go solo and see if she can find out what really happened to Darla.

This mystery novel has the feel of old Hollywood noir, but in present day. A myriad of sleazy characters and off beat personalities with plenty of motive and lots to hide keep Nikki on edge and in danger as she gets closer to the truth about what happened to her friend.

There are lots of twist and turns and sub-plots that keep the reader engaged. I read this book in one sitting. I couldn't help thinking this book would translate well in a TV movie. Nothing overly heavy or profound, but an entertaining mystery that kept me guessing all the way to the end.
This one gets an A.
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,134 reviews271 followers
August 10, 2015
REVIEW: DAZZLED by Maxine Nunes

DAZZLED is gritty, realistic, Hollywood contemporary noir from the female viewpoint. If you've wondered what lies below the glittering blinged surface of celebrity Hollywood, if you've wanted to understand real reality rather than media-hyped illusionary "reality," here's your opportunity. Narrator Nikki is a young woman with wanderlust, but with the good sense to provide for herself. Her best friend Darla is if the stuff of which men's dreams are made, but internally, is terribly damaged and vulnerable. Sari is a spaceheaded trophy divorcee learning to survive alone. When Darla disappears, and Sari and Nikki discover her apartment has been upended and trashed, it's just another item on the police blotter. But Nikki intends to find her best friend, no matter what.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Heather Ames.
Author 13 books11 followers
February 21, 2019
So well written that although the ending seemed to be pretty much standard for a first book (what is it with this plot-reveal that it is used so frequently? Do editors actually seek this out and think it'll be the most sensational way to bump up the readership?) the remaining 98% carried me through that. Phrasing, metaphors, characterizations were all stellar. And now, I see there were no more Nikki Easton Mysteries, despite this appearing to be the first in a series. Perhaps because this was a freebie at a conference and got relegated to the bottom of my extensive TBR pile, it got too much of the same treatment from others. If so, this is unfortunate. I would read another Nikki Easton Mystery for the sense of place and the depth of characterization any time.
1 review
January 11, 2014
I loved this book. The characters, plot and dialogue brought me back to my favorite genre, "Film Noir". I was transported back to Humphrey Bogart's apartment in The Maltese Falcon. His famous speech to Mary Aster about the toothpaste and how she needs to be the "fall guy". I am so impressed by the author's ability to blend the noir of the 40's with the present sex, drugs and rock n' roll culture of todays L.A. The book is full of twists and turns and characters who are not always who they seem to be. It's an exciting ride literally as well as figuratively.
88 reviews
March 1, 2014
I met the author at a bookstore event and was intrigued enough by the book cover blurb and the fact that the story took place in modern-day Hollywood to get on the list at the library to read the book. I'm not generally a fan of the "noir" genre. However, I got caught up in this story and in following the twists and turns of the multi-layered plot. The ending is surprising (something I never saw coming). After I finished the book, I went back over key turns in the plot and admired the author's skill.
Profile Image for Henry Jay Forman.
Author 5 books1 follower
August 26, 2016
People keep dying in this fast paced action filled mystery. The heroine, Nikki Easton, a struggling actress, faces danger and turbulent romance. Nikki takes risks that most sane people would be unlikely to do; however, the reader soon realizes that she is not conventional in many of her decisions. Highly enjoyable even for a reader, who usually reads different styles of mysteries.
Profile Image for Connie.
124 reviews
December 21, 2013
fast paced Hollywood novel with multiple plots and steamy scenes
411 reviews15 followers
August 3, 2014
Likeable characters with a easy to follow storyline. The ending even came as a suprise, which is a rarity these days. Enjoyable book, that doesn't consume all of your time, but will leave you wanting a bit more each time you put it down.

We received this book for free via Goodreads First Reads.
June 27, 2016
A fast-paced page turner that takes the reader deep into Hollywood noir, riveting one's attention on the tough Miss Nikki Easton as she chases clues to find out who killed her best friend and why. Written in a true literary style while the plot thickens and the reader ends up with quite a surprise. Looking for more of Nikki Easton and Maxine Nunes.
Profile Image for Anthony.
5,358 reviews24 followers
March 4, 2015
Good crime drama, all the twists and turns expected of the genre and more. For all you Stephanie Plum fans out there; time to let go of that redundant circle of the East Coast and spend some time on the West Side.
Profile Image for Lidja.
204 reviews2 followers
March 21, 2014
Quick read. Fast moving story. But the cut-to-the-quick descriptions of LA and Hollywood are the dazzling parts of this somewhat melodramatic novel.
Profile Image for Paula.
Author 3 books5 followers
March 30, 2014
Kept me turning the pages except when she kind of ground through a slow scene of guns in the desert. Stayed up late to finish the book. Really liked Nikki.
Profile Image for Dianne Emley.
Author 20 books77 followers
March 31, 2014
Dazzled is a page-turning journey through the Hollywood underworld. Lots of surprises and about as noir as they come. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Catherine Gigante-Brown.
Author 12 books14 followers
June 21, 2015
Loved this book! A real page-turner, expertly written. The characters were so real and beautifully realized. It kept you guessing until the last line. Highly recommended.
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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