Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review: Twice as Dead by Sue Ann Jaffarian (Odelia Grey #6)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fast moving story populated with lovable characters
Cons: A couple very minor nit picks
The Bottom Line
All kinds of secrets
Put Odelia in danger
Which brings us more fun

Twice as Dead is Twice as Fun

Some series are populated with characters you just love to spend time with.  That's the case with Sue Ann Jaffarian's Odelia Grey series.  The instant I got Twice as Dead, the sixth in the series, I placed it at the top of mount To Be Read.  And I wasn't disappointed.

A wedding should be safe from dead bodies, right?  Not when Odelia Grey is attending one.  Her best friend's daughter is getting married, but Odelia has stumbled upon the wedding planner, Shirley Pearson, in the coat closet stabbed in the side.  Odelia manages to stall long enough for the bride and groom to leave before the police arrive, and it isn't long before the police discover that the victim was really a man named Doug Pearson.  And that's not the only secret that Shirley/Doug had.  Which of these secrets motivated the murder?

Some of the mysteries I read start out by setting up the characters before the first murder takes place.  Not here.  The opening scene is actually Odelia and her friend Zee fighting over when to call the police after having found the body.  And that sets the pace for the rest of the book.  The clues and revelations come quickly and I always had a hard time putting the book down.  While the climax does involve a pet peeve of mine, the final outcome is quite logical and satisfactory.  Plus there's enough suspense in the climax to make up for any minor quibbles.

Over the course of the series, we've gotten quite a few great characters, and all the supporting cast is back and plays a role in how the story progresses.  Since I love them so much, that was definitely a plus.  Once again, I loved how Odelia and her husband Greg's relationship is portrayed.  Their mutual love and trust is great.  The last book in the series was actually set outside the normal Southern California setting, so most of the supporting cast just had cameos, so it was especially nice to see so many of them play big parts in this book.

Naturally, the book is filled with new characters that make up the suspects.  The hold their own against the established characters and I never had a hard time keeping them all straight.

All this is held together with a first person narration that draws you into the story and allowed you to get lost in the world.  I've already mentioned I couldn't put the book down.  Between that and the writing, it was over all too fast.

Fans of Odelia and her friends will love Twice as Dead.  If that's not you, don't delay in meeting this great sleuth.  Personally, I can't wait until she stumbles over her next dead body.

Once you've met Odelia, you'll want to read the rest of the Odelia Grey Mysteries in order.

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