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Ms America and the Offing on Oahu

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(Series #1) Ms. Ohio Happy Pennington finds out it’s not all sequins and silicone when she competes on Oahu for the Ms America crown—the first national title of her life. When her fiercest competitor tumbles dead out of the isolation booth during the televised pageant finale, Honolulu PD gets to thinking Happy might have killed her. What’s the only thing a beauty queen worth (Series #1) Ms. Ohio Happy Pennington finds out it’s not all sequins and silicone when she competes on Oahu for the Ms America crown—the first national title of her life. When her fiercest competitor tumbles dead out of the isolation booth during the televised pageant finale, Honolulu PD gets to thinking Happy might have killed her. What’s the only thing a beauty queen worth her sash can do? Nab the real killer—even if that means tangling with snarky rival contestants, a local who claims to be Hawaiian royalty, a brooding helicopter pilot, and a pageant emcee hot enough to die for ...


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(Series #1) Ms. Ohio Happy Pennington finds out it’s not all sequins and silicone when she competes on Oahu for the Ms America crown—the first national title of her life. When her fiercest competitor tumbles dead out of the isolation booth during the televised pageant finale, Honolulu PD gets to thinking Happy might have killed her. What’s the only thing a beauty queen worth (Series #1) Ms. Ohio Happy Pennington finds out it’s not all sequins and silicone when she competes on Oahu for the Ms America crown—the first national title of her life. When her fiercest competitor tumbles dead out of the isolation booth during the televised pageant finale, Honolulu PD gets to thinking Happy might have killed her. What’s the only thing a beauty queen worth her sash can do? Nab the real killer—even if that means tangling with snarky rival contestants, a local who claims to be Hawaiian royalty, a brooding helicopter pilot, and a pageant emcee hot enough to die for ...

30 review for Ms America and the Offing on Oahu

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Marsh

    Diana Dempsey has done it again! She never ceases to enthral me with her clever plots. I find her characters adorable and the Beauty Queen Mysteries No 1 was no exception. It seems Diana had great fun writing 'Offing in Oahu', that comes out clearly in her amusing and punchy writing. I did wonder how this story would appeal being written in the first person, but I had no need to worry, I found it a great read. I would thoroughly recommend this book to all readers and will definitely look forward Diana Dempsey has done it again! She never ceases to enthral me with her clever plots. I find her characters adorable and the Beauty Queen Mysteries No 1 was no exception. It seems Diana had great fun writing 'Offing in Oahu', that comes out clearly in her amusing and punchy writing. I did wonder how this story would appeal being written in the first person, but I had no need to worry, I found it a great read. I would thoroughly recommend this book to all readers and will definitely look forward to the other stories in the series. I have read a few of Diana's books and would say for me this was probably the best.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Britney

    This was my first read by Ms. Dempsey snd I enjoyed it. It was a nice cozy mystery that didn't bore. I like the it didn't drag on with useless information that didn't fit the story. Happy Pennington is a beauty queen who wants to be an amateur sleuth. Her father is a cop, so she feels she should do investigating cause its in her blood. I will be looking for the rest in the series. This was my first read by Ms. Dempsey snd I enjoyed it. It was a nice cozy mystery that didn't bore. I like the it didn't drag on with useless information that didn't fit the story. Happy Pennington is a beauty queen who wants to be an amateur sleuth. Her father is a cop, so she feels she should do investigating cause its in her blood. I will be looking for the rest in the series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mel J

    I'm not a big fan of "chick-lit", romance stories or mysteries, but Diana Dempsey is hilarious. I'm not a big fan of "chick-lit", romance stories or mysteries, but Diana Dempsey is hilarious.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    I managed, just barely to finish this book last night and I wanted to give myself 24 hours to mull over what I felt about it. Unfortunately my feelings haven't changed from last night. Instead of the 1 star this book should have gotten I gave it a 2 because I could see that the author tried very hard to make this an interesting, action packed book. She did try to weave a good story, and had some interesting and well written secondary characters. Unfortunately what finally did happen, is that the I managed, just barely to finish this book last night and I wanted to give myself 24 hours to mull over what I felt about it. Unfortunately my feelings haven't changed from last night. Instead of the 1 star this book should have gotten I gave it a 2 because I could see that the author tried very hard to make this an interesting, action packed book. She did try to weave a good story, and had some interesting and well written secondary characters. Unfortunately what finally did happen, is that the so called 'heroine' just came off looking like an idiotic, Peri-menopausal busybody that had no clue and didn't care how she messed up the police investigation. In this book we meet Ms Ohio, Happy Pennington, who is among the top 5 contestants at the Ms America pageant. While in the isolation booth, her competitor and last contestant up, dies after re-applying her face powder and lipstick. So of course the police have to think that Happy had something to do with it and Happy just has to do the cops job because they sure aren't doing it correctly! There are so many red herrings that I finally just had to skim to the end just to see if anyone actually did the deed! Unfortunately, Happy was not exactly the most sympathetic of protagonists. I know that is harsh of me, and I also realize that this book cost a mere 99 cents so I shouldn't feel cheated...but I do because all of the elements of a good, honestly funny, slap-stick kind of comedy of errors, mystery were there. But it was too much. Perhaps Janet Evanovich can get away with this kind of thing, but not lately. Audiences may be looking for less "rebel without a clue" and more "women with some common sense and a good sense of humor" in there fictio

  5. 4 out of 5

    Juliet Doubledee

    Found this book to be an enjoyable, light read that is perfect for sitting by the pool or under a tree. The story revolves around Ms. Ohio, Happy Pennington, who witnesses one of her top rivals dying of poisoning. Since she was the last competitor to see the poisoned Ms. California alive, and because this final contestant was her top competitor to the Ms. America crown (which just so happens to now be awarded to Ms. Ohio), Happy is the top suspect in the murder. To clear her name she begins inve Found this book to be an enjoyable, light read that is perfect for sitting by the pool or under a tree. The story revolves around Ms. Ohio, Happy Pennington, who witnesses one of her top rivals dying of poisoning. Since she was the last competitor to see the poisoned Ms. California alive, and because this final contestant was her top competitor to the Ms. America crown (which just so happens to now be awarded to Ms. Ohio), Happy is the top suspect in the murder. To clear her name she begins investigating the clues to see if she can find out who really did it. The Pro's of the book are the way she goes about gathering her information and how she finally finds the true killer with Oahu as her background. Surprisingly not until the end was I able to figure out "who done it". The Con's are the constant reference to the outfits and make up she' s wearing, and the playing up of the stereotypical competitor as vain, air headed, or bitchy cheater. A three star rating because I found this book "middle of the road", neither life altering nor waste of reading time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    CJ

    I really enjoyed the twists and turns of this light-hearted mystery novel. It was a first read from the author and I will certainly consider reading the other Beauty Queen Mystery stories as well. I obtained the book as a freebie and read it on my Kindle over two sittings - great for a poolside or plane ride. The book has some fun at the expense of the pageant process, which I found quite entertaining!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    Great story line but needs editing This whole manuscript jumps from first person to third person - back and forth. The author also doesn't keep tense correctly, jumping from present to past tense repeatedly. Both of these grammar snafus get in the way of a good read when a good editor could have taken care of this. Aside from this, excellent story line, good character progression and a fun read! Great story line but needs editing This whole manuscript jumps from first person to third person - back and forth. The author also doesn't keep tense correctly, jumping from present to past tense repeatedly. Both of these grammar snafus get in the way of a good read when a good editor could have taken care of this. Aside from this, excellent story line, good character progression and a fun read!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Oberth

    This was a fun, upbeat cozy mystery. I liked the humor and the characters, I didn't care for the way some of the characters handled one another. It wasn't personal preference on my part ("Oh, I wish so-and-so did this") but more that I didn't find some character reactions and interactions believable. But it was still fun, and I recommend it to anyone who's looking for an entertaining read. The beauty queen pageant thing was a cool setting - not to mention Hawaii! This was a fun, upbeat cozy mystery. I liked the humor and the characters, I didn't care for the way some of the characters handled one another. It wasn't personal preference on my part ("Oh, I wish so-and-so did this") but more that I didn't find some character reactions and interactions believable. But it was still fun, and I recommend it to anyone who's looking for an entertaining read. The beauty queen pageant thing was a cool setting - not to mention Hawaii!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    Got this for free on the kindle and ended up enjoying it. Fun mystery, funny moments, good beach reading and a unique spin on the accidental detective. Plus, now i know the difference between a muumuu, a caftan, and a tunic :-) I think I'll read the next in this series. Got this for free on the kindle and ended up enjoying it. Fun mystery, funny moments, good beach reading and a unique spin on the accidental detective. Plus, now i know the difference between a muumuu, a caftan, and a tunic :-) I think I'll read the next in this series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patricia C Robbins

    Delightful Delightful This is a good start for a series with beauty queen contestants as the major players. Suspenseful, enjoyable. A pleasant read. I'd certainly like to read more stories about Happy Pennington. Delightful Delightful This is a good start for a series with beauty queen contestants as the major players. Suspenseful, enjoyable. A pleasant read. I'd certainly like to read more stories about Happy Pennington.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    A fun read with so many possible suspects. The beauty contest ~ pageant theme is unique and worked surprisingly well. A definite recommend to people who like fun,upbeat cozy mysteries.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Really enjoyed it. A fun look inside the pageant world.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    I really enjoyed this book. its what I like to call an easy sunday afternoon book. It was fun and very enjoyable. I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Happy Pennington is Ms Ohio, and she's competing for the Ms America title in the finale in Oahu. She makes it to the final five...and then it's down to the final four when one contestant ends up dead on stage. Happy, of course, was the last in the booth with her and the eventual winner, so she's on the suspect list...but she has a suspect list of her own, and she's determined to figure it out, using her new crown if necessary, especially when her crown is in jeopardy. Happy isn't an airhead; she Happy Pennington is Ms Ohio, and she's competing for the Ms America title in the finale in Oahu. She makes it to the final five...and then it's down to the final four when one contestant ends up dead on stage. Happy, of course, was the last in the booth with her and the eventual winner, so she's on the suspect list...but she has a suspect list of her own, and she's determined to figure it out, using her new crown if necessary, especially when her crown is in jeopardy. Happy isn't an airhead; she seems like a well-rounded (albeit at times misguided in her judgment) contestant. Guess I'm out of the loop on these Ms America beauty pageants, but why isn't it Mrs Ohio and Mrs America if it's geared toward older, married women? Also, why doesn't she spend more time with her husband? Kinda weird that he's staying right down the street, but they don't go to dinner or hang out more. Neat that they're high school sweethearts. Not so neat that her mom's adamantly opposed to him, even after all these years, and Happy doesn't do anything about it. Dempsey's writing is solid. It's a little slow at times, but then it picks up the pace in others and averages out. Not sure how this will hold up as a series. Happy got quite a bit of help from her fellow contestants, and I doubt they go on tour with her.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Light murder mystery The catch word that piqued my interest was Oahu. I visited Hawaii the last of seven times in 1972 and would love to return, but now only vicariously. The idea of a beauty queen solving a murder case is very far fetched, but it intrigued me enough to read to the end.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Fun, light read. The blurb says it all. There is a whole series of these! Might be fun to read one after a heavy book (that’s not when I read this one but still...). Oh, and Ms America is from Ohio, so that’s cool.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Kindle

  18. 5 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Ms. Ohio Happy Pennington finds out it’s not all sequins and silicone when she competes on Oahu for the Ms America crown—the first national title of her life. When her fiercest competitor tumbles dead out of the isolation booth during the televised pageant finale, Honolulu PD gets to thinking Happy might have killed her. Happy has to clear her name and catch the killer and make sure they are very UN -Happy!!! Dollycas’s Thoughts This book was my choice for my December Just For Fun Reading Challenge Ms. Ohio Happy Pennington finds out it’s not all sequins and silicone when she competes on Oahu for the Ms America crown—the first national title of her life. When her fiercest competitor tumbles dead out of the isolation booth during the televised pageant finale, Honolulu PD gets to thinking Happy might have killed her. Happy has to clear her name and catch the killer and make sure they are very UN -Happy!!! Dollycas’s Thoughts This book was my choice for my December Just For Fun Reading Challenge and it really was a fun read! It reminded me of the Miss Congeniality movies staring Sandra Bullock. A behind the scenes look at Beauty Pageants with older contestants who still can fit into a pageant bathing suit and embarrass their kids like crazy. Happy Pennington was a sassy protagonist and the rest of the characters run the gambit – a varied group of beauty queens, a chopper pilot, the pageant emcee with a huge secret, Happy’s hubby and her mother who doesn’t think much of Happy’s hubby. The mystery was full of suspects starting with several contestants and their handlers. Happy needed a spreadsheet to track them all. Very well plotted. A great read to take your mind off the cold weather. A virtual trip to Hawaii in December should warm you up nicely.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Val Sanford

    Ms America competition is fierce and the presumed winner ends up dead from lethal lipstick. Enter Ohio contestant Happy Pennington (not her real name) to glide her way to the answer. The book is quirky with funny but not fully developed characters and the answer is a quick sum-up that left me unsatisfied. All that said, I think this has the fundamentals needed for a fun series following the beauty pagents around the globe. You'll learn trade secrets like how to use packing -- never duct -- tape Ms America competition is fierce and the presumed winner ends up dead from lethal lipstick. Enter Ohio contestant Happy Pennington (not her real name) to glide her way to the answer. The book is quirky with funny but not fully developed characters and the answer is a quick sum-up that left me unsatisfied. All that said, I think this has the fundamentals needed for a fun series following the beauty pagents around the globe. You'll learn trade secrets like how to use packing -- never duct -- tape and why Ms. Congeniality never wins. A light read perfect for the beaches of Hawaii, where I happen to be right now.

  20. 5 out of 5

    moxieBK

    I thought this was a fun little (fairly) quick read. A beauty queen, Happy Pennington, stumbles upon a murder at her own beauty queen contest, gets herself listed and suspect #1; and so decides to sets about to solve it, and clearing her name. It took a cozy from a different point a view and that was a fun twist on it. I enjoyed discovering and solving the mystery with Happy and I enjoyed Happy herself. She was fun, witty, and sharp as a tack. The author did a good job a write a fairly tight plo I thought this was a fun little (fairly) quick read. A beauty queen, Happy Pennington, stumbles upon a murder at her own beauty queen contest, gets herself listed and suspect #1; and so decides to sets about to solve it, and clearing her name. It took a cozy from a different point a view and that was a fun twist on it. I enjoyed discovering and solving the mystery with Happy and I enjoyed Happy herself. She was fun, witty, and sharp as a tack. The author did a good job a write a fairly tight plot, with lots of fun characters. I would read more of the stuff, and especially this series. Three stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    This book should probably be a three star; it was well written and well edited - it was just too goofy of a story to get a three star by me. It is the kind of ultra-light reading one does by the pool or at the beach when one wants to keep busy without a lot of brain usage. Fun, but I doubt I will read another one by her, unless I am of course, going to the beach or laying in bed with a cold and cannot concentrate much. It was fun and goofy - if you are looking for that; this book is for you.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ktouton

    This book is great to read on vacation or when you have read an intense book. This book has very descriptive writing. If I cared about fashion it might have mattered to me. This book does have some references to homosexual references along with numerous adultery references. Some people might not find.it acceptable for young teens becauses of these references. Overall it was a light and quick read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angela Joyce

    This was cute and gave me a much-needed mental vacation to Hawaii. I really don't care what the gals are wearing and how they're doing their hair while solving mysteries, but that's what I get for reading a story about pageant participants. Best of all, I did not correctly guess the murderer by the third chapter, which is nice. This was cute and gave me a much-needed mental vacation to Hawaii. I really don't care what the gals are wearing and how they're doing their hair while solving mysteries, but that's what I get for reading a story about pageant participants. Best of all, I did not correctly guess the murderer by the third chapter, which is nice.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    This is a great cozy, fun, reasonable characters, a solid plot, and just interesting to the last page! There are two more books in the series, and I'm ready to read them! Trust me, this book is fun, and the whodunnit is a cleverly kept secret, but not way out of the realm of guessing. I enjoyed this read! It was not annoying and no pressure. Tasteful and fun!!!!! This is a great cozy, fun, reasonable characters, a solid plot, and just interesting to the last page! There are two more books in the series, and I'm ready to read them! Trust me, this book is fun, and the whodunnit is a cleverly kept secret, but not way out of the realm of guessing. I enjoyed this read! It was not annoying and no pressure. Tasteful and fun!!!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Light hearted, easy read. No great suspense or character development and not particulary memorable but was still an ok read on a hot summer day when you don't really want to think too hard about anything. Light hearted, easy read. No great suspense or character development and not particulary memorable but was still an ok read on a hot summer day when you don't really want to think too hard about anything.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wright

    Kind of reminded me of "Miss Congeniality", but the players are older ladies competing in a pageant instead of young ladies. There's murder mixed with affairs and some humor here and there. I enjoyed the book. Kind of reminded me of "Miss Congeniality", but the players are older ladies competing in a pageant instead of young ladies. There's murder mixed with affairs and some humor here and there. I enjoyed the book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    It was an entertaining read and it kept me guessing. I give it only 2.5 stars because I felt that the ending was quite a letdown. There was such a buildup in the first half and then it just kind of fizzled out towards the end.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kaija

    I liked trying to solve the mystery, but I don't understand why the main character bothered to try and solve the case herself. Not once was did it seem as if she would go to jail for the death of the other contestant. Just ridiculous the logic she used in this novel. I liked trying to solve the mystery, but I don't understand why the main character bothered to try and solve the case herself. Not once was did it seem as if she would go to jail for the death of the other contestant. Just ridiculous the logic she used in this novel.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Demsky

    I enjoyed this story, comical funny entertaining -- sometimes wondered about grown married women who had children wanting to be in a beauty pageant but....GREAT summer read! Will look for more by Diana Dempsey!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This was a light mystery and, I think, a freebie from nook. There were a lot of characters and a lot of suspects, and the plot was fairly good. I thought the author could have handled the family relationships better as she made the husband look foolish at times.

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