Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Good Book Alert

First I have to say that I've had the day from Hell. Seriously. Is it a full moon or something? My day started with a trip to the dentist and quickly went downhill. I'm not sure what was worse - my public Internet computers being down this morning, 2 printers (one of them the public printer) taking a mini-vacation or the crazy man who monopolized 2 hours of my time.

All this after going to the dentist.

You know the types of patrons who scare me the most? The ones that are nuts, but don't realize they're completely insane. It's amazing I didn't polish off a fifth of Jack Daniels for lunch.

Anyway, one good thing did happen to me today. I finished a really excellent book. And just to get this out of the way now - yes, it's a hard cover. Sorry folks.

Sex, Murder And A Double Latte by Kyra Davis is a debut novel for Red Dress Ink, and is one of those new chick lit/mystery hybrid books. I'll admit that the whole chick lit phenomenon tends to baffle me more than anything - but when blended with a mystery these books really seem to work for me. I'm not sure why. Maybe because the heroine has something other to worry about besides cosmopolitans, Jimmy Choos and losing 15 pounds? Dead bodies don't like to be ignored after all.

Anyway, Sophie Katz (our heroine) is a bestselling mystery author with a problem. She thinks someone is out to kill her - but the police think she has an overactive imagination. First, the famous movie producer who was interested in her screenplay commits suicide - and Sophie doesn't buy it. She thinks it's murder. Then she gets a threatening, albeit vague, note in the mail. There's also the mysterious hang-up phone calls and the creepy feeling she has that someone has been in her San Francisco flat.

The exact same stuff that happened to the heroine in her first novel, Sex, Drugs and Murder.

Cue creepy music here.

All this, a dysfunctional family, and a mysterious hot Russian guy wooing her too.

This book is a wonderful blend of good mystery and chick lit. Sophie has an interesting life, with a variety of wacky acquintances and a fun, chick-lit style voice. She's also not lily-white, being half-black and half-Jewish. One of the funniest scenes in the book is in the opening chapter when Sophie describes her Jewish mother's reaction to the sex scenes in her novels. Also, becoming bored with inquiries about her ethicity (no, she's not Egyptian or Polynesian) she has a purse full of zippy one-liners.

Also, it's important to note that this is a chick lit novel, of sorts. So while it ends positively, there isn't what I would call a traditional happily-ever-after. However, the mystery does get solved, and Sophie ends up in a better place. Readers who want their heroines to be married and giving birth to triplets in the epilouge need not apply - you won't find that here.

This really was a fabulous book. While it didn't quite make it to keeper status for me (OK, so I'm really flippin' picky!), it easily landed in B+ territory. Sure it's a hard cover - but hey, buy it on sale! Get it at the library! Or put it on your TBB for when it lands in paperback. Whatever you do though - don't miss it.


Tara Marie said...

Ooooo...this sounds good, I've put it on my TBB list and am dragging junior out to the UBS and Waldenbooks today.

Lilith Saintcrow said...

sorry about the day from hell. Must have been something in the air.

I did see the book you mentioned at the bookstore, but the chicklit cover put me off. :)Maybe I'll give it a go, though, since you liked it so much.

Wendy said...

I tend to be annoyed but what one would call "traditional chick lit." The heroines tend to come off "too whiney" for my tastes.

That said, I liked this book so much because it had a strong mystery and the best of what chick lit has to offer - the interesting voices!

I'll definately be on the lookout for Davis' next book.

And Tara - hope Jr. behaves himself while you're book shopping :-)

Rosario said...

That one sounds like fun, Wendy. Definitely adding it to my Wish List!

Jay said...

Ooooh, that does sound interesting - though for me, it's not the chick lit that makes me pause but the mystery. After a slew of romances with a suspense subplot seemingly just for the sake of having one, I tend to stay awayy from the mystery subplots.

But this and Murder in the Hamptons by Amy Garvey both sound interesting enough for me to put my hesitations aside.