Smile Now, Cry Later

I’ve always loved a good mystery.  I think it probably stems from when I was a little kid, staying up late during the summer watching reruns of Perry Mason and other mysteries with my mom.  We’d sit at the kitchen table, turn on the little black and white set, adjust the rabbit ears, and settle in for some good old-fashioned whodunnits.  My older siblings had phone calls and social lives, and my younger siblings were far too young to watch shows about murder and deceit, so this meant that for one hour, Monday through Friday, for three months straight, I got my mom all to myself.  Just my mom, the mysteries and me.

My favorite show by far was Hart to Hart.  How these normal (as normal as a kind, dashing multi-millionaire and his incredibly beautiful and intelligent wife can be) people somehow happened onto these sinister plots filled with dead bodies, embezzled fortunes and layers of criminal activity was perfectly thrilling to me.  I was riveted by the subsequent investigation and resolution of said crimes, all of which was carried out for the sake of truth and justice.  That fascination has stayed with me to this day.  In fact, it was this same theme of an Average Joe unwittingly stumbling upon a grave crime and being altruistically compelled to find out more that attracted me to Paul MacDonald’s debut, Smile Now, Cry Later.

After years of living a very respectable life, doing very respectable work at a very respectable job, Human Resources manager Chuck Restic is well on his way to a comfortably respectable early retirement.  When an otherwise predictably dependable employee inexplicably goes missing, however, Restic decides to break with convention and dig a little deeper.  What begins as idle curiosity quickly spins into an obsession for resolution that turns our workaday HR exec into a veritable private investigator.

Laugh Now, Cry Later is fun, relatable and filled with all the twists and turns that make for a great mystery.   Think Office Space meets Murder, She Wrote set in modern day Los Angeles, and you will understand the very essence of this clever new series by first-time author Paul MacDonald.


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