Archive for 'Kozak, Harley Jane'
DEAD EX is the third Wollie Shelley book. Wollie is a greeting card designer, muralist, and reluctant professional dater and she returns with her off-beat L.A. friends and family. In this outing, one of her former lovers, David, is murdered and Wollie’s pal Joey is the prime suspect. Joey is also one of David’s former lovers and one of the prime beneficiaries of his will. Wollie tries to clear Joey while her friend hides out from the rabid press, the police, and her soon-to-be-ex-husband.
To exonerate Joey, Wollie has to find out a lot more than she ever wanted to about the inner workings and rivalries of a soap opera where David worked. And she falls back on her professional dating skills to do so, going out on televised dates with the male cast members. As usual, these are the “how not to” dating encounters that we have come to expect with disaster prone Wollie.
I thought DEAD EX was a little more serious in tone than the previous Wollie books, but there is still plenty of Wollie misadventure to amuse the reader. And between seriously bad hair days and flying glogg, Kozak shows us some really good writing. She is incredibly but subtly sensitive when she writes about Wollie’s institutionalized brother PB. Kozak balances Wollie’s love and devotion for PB with his sometimes frustrating behavior and naively charming worldview. PB is never exploited for laughs or ill-treated, but you see a genuine and natural humor as he interacts with the world at large.
And you can tell that Kozak has some really good female friends and has modelled Joey and Fredreeq after them. She has captured the essence of friends who stick by each other in a crisis and band together against all comers. And she does it in brief – the list of items that Wollie picks up for Joey when she is on the run from the paparazzi says it all.
Favorite character? Uncle Theo. Did I guess it? No. Will I read another? Absolutely.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com ©2007
I got a recommendation for this book from a â€œread-alikeâ€ list for Janet Evanovichâ€™s books. And yes, if you like the Stephanie Plum series, chances are good that you will like this one, too.
Wollie Shelley is a charming and funny character who is trying desperately to buy her greeting card franchise store. She has to pass the secret shopper inspections and come up with the money. Which leads to the dating experiment. A romance talk show host is trying a dating experiment with strict rules with a group of women scattered around the country. If Wollie can follow the rules and date 40 men in 60 days, she gets the last of the money she needs for her shop. But somehow, things never quite go as planned.
Wollieâ€™s brother is a paranoid schizophrenic who is temporarily off his medication due to injury. When she receives a call from him about a murder at the mental hospital, she doesnâ€™t know what to think. But, being a dutiful sister, she does head out there in the middle of the night with aluminum foil for her brother to wrap around his teeth and ears â€“ and stumbles over a dead body. And then she meets up with a mysterious stranger trying to rescue someone from the hospital and two gunmen andâ€¦ Letâ€™s just say that things progress. The book is charming, funny, awkward, sexy, and makes you realize that it is possible to end up robbing graves in the middle of the night if your family needs you to.
Did I guess it? No, the story had lots of different ways it could go. I think of this book as more of an adventure than mystery.
Favorite character? Probably Doc. I just love those dark, smoldering, mystery men.
Mystery Book Reviews by Reviewed By Liz.com Â©2006