Monday, January 13, 2014

Never judge a book by the heroine's name.

Gladie Burger (I know, right?) has moved to Cannes, California to go into business with her grandmother, Zelda, a professional matchmaker and semi-psychic. Gladie doesn’t particularly want to be a matchmaker, but Zelda insists Gladie has the “gift.” The real reason Gladie moved back is that her grandmother isn’t getting any younger, and if having Gladie in the business makes Zelda happy, that’s what Gladie will do.

Gladie attempts to buckle down and organize the matchmaking business, which was never computerized and exists on Polaroids and index cards. Her focus is shattered, however, her neighbor dies and his insane family insists it was murder. Gladie is reluctantly drawn into the mystery, aided by the new, ruggedly handsome police chief, Spence Bolton, and her new, rich and hot next door neighbor, Arthur Holden. While the sex appeal triangle is welcome, the mystery is not, and as the bodies begin to pile up Gladie knows she’ll have to figure it all out before she becomes a target for the murderer.

I had no idea what to expect with this novel. The cover is very chicklit, while the title is humorous and a bit on the cozy-mystery side. As it turns out the story is both. Elsie Sax, in this debut novel, has combined genres to create a very readable romantic murder mystery with a bit of a cliffhanger ending. The plot, while not totally believable, is easy to sink into and is, at least, plausible. The secondary characters (the hotties, the best friends, Zelda, etc.) are two-dimensional and add a lot to the story.  The humor is fun, light, and very witty, and I really hope more Gladie books are in the works, because she’s a very likeable anti-heroine.

Sax, Elsie. An Affair to Dismember. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013. 

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