Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dipped, stripped, and dead by Elise Hyatt

Candyce "Dyce" Dare is a single mother trying to keep her head above water so she doesn't lose custody of her young son Enoch - know affectionately as "E".  To support them and keep a roof over their head Dyce goes hunting for furniture she can restore and sell under her Daring Finds label.  She usually does okay, enough to keep them feed and clothed, even though most of the time she feeds them on pancakes!  Sometimes she goes dumpster diving for treasure, and on this particular occasion she finds herself face-to-face with some seriously melted human remains.  In comes the cavalry and Dyce finds herself caught up in something of a murder mystery - but not so caught up that she can't keep a little piece of treasure to restore on the side that should set her and little E up for a while.

The discovery of the body also leads her to a new connection with Officer Wolfe who seems to have an intense interest in Dyce and her choice of menu.  Things are also complicated by the fact that E doesn't talk to anyone but Dyce and her ex-husband and his perfect new wife want E to get professional help.  Complications, complications, and complications - including the arrival of her best friend Ben who is having some trouble with his significant other.  Against her better judgement, and against the advice of every person in her life, Dyce just can't help but get involved with the murder mystery - especially when she discovers who the victim was and what they might have discovered that got them killed.

Dipped, stripped, and dead was a fun filled romp with some seriously laugh out loud moments that was promptly passed on to my mother so she too could enjoy the story and the little twists and turns that make it so engaging.  There are a few times when the writing seems to fumble a little, but it was a minor annoyance because the rest of the story was well written and it was so easy to connect to the characters and their quirky world.  Dyce is far from perfect, she has a terrible ex-husband, her parents think she is going to marry her gay best friend, and someone seriously has it in for her - the perfect set up for a "real life" read. 

I am eagerly waiting for the next book in the series to fall into my hands so I can find out what happens next for Dyce and the people in her life.  Although I have read neither author for a little while the style of writing and the wit reminds me of the early Janet Evanovich and MaryJanice Davidson books.  A fun read that made me feel a lot better when I was feeling tired and down with the flu.  Don't take this book too seriously and you will have lots of fun exploring the world of Daring Finds, and the murder mystery is also a twisted little mystery to keep you guessing who dunnit right to the end. 

This is not a genre I usually read so my suggestions are a little thin on the ground, but I have just ordered some more books to read in the same vein so hopefully there will be some more suggestions soon.

If you like this book then try:
  • French polished murder by Elise Hyatt
  • Books can be deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
  • One for the money by Janet Evanovich
  • Two for the dough by Janet Evanovich
  • Undead and unwed by MaryJanice Davidson
  • Murder past due by Miranda James

Reviewed by Brilla

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