Third Time's a Crime
Diana Orgain     

Genre: Mystery
Series: A Love or Money Mystery
Book: 3

Ex-detective Georgia Thornton returns to reality TV in the third mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of A Second Chance at Murder—
After two hit reality TV shows brought ex-detective Georgia Thornton into America’s living rooms, audiences can’t get enough of her quest for love and justice. Now producers have come up with an all-new show set in a haunted castle in Golden, California. Georgia and nine other contestants will need to solve the mystery of a young woman who disappeared at the castle in 1960.
Except there’s one rather substantial problem waiting for everyone when they arrive: a groundskeeper is found drowned at the bottom of the castle’s empty pool. Now Georgia and the other contestants will need to work together, because there’s a different sort of game afoot—and it’s not one they can afford to lose...

Georgia Thornton is a former San Francisco police officer and nobody is more surprised than she is that she has become a reality TV star. She and her boyfriend Scott are competing against others, ranging from a ghost hunter to an FBI profiler, to solve a cold case. This newest reality show on which Georgia will appear is set in a haunted castle in Golden, California. The goal is to solve the case involving Jane Reiner, who disappeared from the castle in 1960. However, before the competition even begins, a current murder adds an immediate sense of danger for Georgia and the other contestants. Even as Georgia deals with a strain in the relationship between her and Scott with constant cameras following her steps, she is more determined than ever to solve the new murder as well as find out what really happened to Jane Reiner.

Third Time’s a Crime is author Diana Orgain’s third book in the Love or Money mysteries. I’ve enjoyed reading all three books, but new readers will be able to jump right in and enjoy this installment without reading the prior books. While not quite as good as the first book in the series, this is a strong installment and is enjoyable on its own as well as for those who have been following the entire series. One thing that has improved as the books have continued is that Georgia is happier, which makes her more likeable. She has gotten over the shock of losing her job and is getting used to the peculiarities of reality TV and the ups and downs of being a reality “star.” Although things are less than perfect with Scott, she is happier in her personal life as a whole and gets along well with her father and her best friend Becca who keeps getting her mixed up in the various realty shows throughout the series.

The solving of a cold case provides a unique take on the reality show premise of the series and getting to see all of the contestants try to out-do each other in solving the decades-old case is suspenseful and entertaining. I enjoyed watching Georgia try to solve the case, as well as deal with some underhanded competitors as she seems to be getting closer to a solution. Georgia’s background as an ex-cop is a perfect fit for the reality show featured in this book. It’s interesting to see Georgia and Scott working together on the case, while trying to keep their personal life hidden from the other contestants and the cameras. I love the surprising twists that occur on the reality show within the book as well as in the overall storyline, and I found the conclusions on both to be very satisfying. I recommend this book to fans of the author or someone looking for a unique take on the cozy mystery.

~ Christine