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.