Review: Double-Booked for Death by Ali Brandon

24 Nov

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, which was a fairly typical cozy, in spite of being set in New York City, rather than the smaller communities typical of the genre.

Summary via Goodreads:

As the new owners of Pettistone’s Fine Books, Darla Pettistone is determined to prove herself a worthy successor to her late great-aunt Dee…and equally determined to outwit Hamlet, the smarter-than-thou cat she inherited along with the shop. Darla’s first store event is a real coup: the hottest bestselling author of the moment is holding a signing there. But when the author meets an untimely end during the event, it’s ruled an accident-until Hamlet digs up a clue that seems to indicate otherwise…

For me, the key to a cozy mystery is the characters, and I really liked what I got to know about the characters, however as the book is the start of a new series, it suffered a bit from trying to introduce so  many characters so quickly. They are pleasantly quirky, but not outrageously so. Darla is still settling into her new life, she’s got a friend (and crime-solving sidekick) in the ex-police officer that rents an apartment from her, and she has a potential romantic interest in a local cop… Bookstore employees and the owner of the neighboring store round out the potential recurring characters.

Well, there’s one more key character– Hamlet the cat. I have mixed feelings about crime-solving felines in books. I’m a huge cat person in real life, but when they start knocking relevant books off the shelf and objecting to people with hidden secrets, I don’t consider this a plus. Hamlet is a great feisty feline on his own, and these additions didn’t bug me too much here.

I really liked the look into the book world and life in NYC, and I hope to get more of both in future books.

I prefer to think that I solved the mystery along with the lead character, but I had my suspicions all along. Still, that’s better than the solution coming so far out of left field that it is completely unsupported by anything that happens, and that definitely isn’t the case here. The mystery was nicely constructed.

All in all, I’m looking forward to future books in the series, and am probably going to go get the next one this weekend.

I received this book for review last year, but didn’t read until now.  I apologize for the delay!  Thank you to Berkley Prime Crime for sending it to me.


Posted by on November 24, 2012 in books, reviews


Tags: , , , ,

2 responses to “Review: Double-Booked for Death by Ali Brandon

  1. Howard Sherman

    November 25, 2012 at 4:09 am

    I’ve always been curious to try out a cozy mystery but the “typical guy” in me has been holding me back. As a native New Yorker, Double-Booked for Death may be the one!


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