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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Matchpoint (The Matchmaker Series #1)

Matchpoint - Elise Sax

My DH tells me that the first time he saw this book on my bedside table he immediately thought "What kind of crap is she reading!?"

 

Thereby proving the adage that you can't judge a book by it's cover.

 

But boy can I judge this cover.  Yuck.  This cover has nothing to do with the story at all, which leads me to my next point:  The publisher has this book listed under contemporary romance.  ?!?!  It and it's predecessor (also with an awful cover, btw) are murder mysteries, first and foremost.  This book has exactly 1 almost-but-not sex scene and 2 kisses.  In the whole book.  And almost no romance and only one romantic setting.

 

What it *does* have is a murder, attempted murder and

a scarecrow that will scare the hell out of more than just the birds.

(show spoiler)

 This is a hell of a good murder mystery.

 

Gladie is training to be a matchmaker and follow in her Grandmother Zelda's footsteps.  Gladie isn't my favorite MC of all time, I'd prefer she be more fiscally responsible instead of revelling in debt.  (I like my heroines to be responsible, even if they can't be pulled together at times.)  But she is a hoot and I do like her.  There are some great slapstick moments in Gladie's life.  She struggles to make matches for others, and of course, her own love life is all over the place.  She's actively got the hots for her very mysterious neighbour with no history and she has the involuntary hots for the Police Chief who is the poster child for womanisers.  It's sort of hard to know who to cheer on, but there's more comedic gold here, especially with the Police Chief.  

 

Grandma Zelda is widely regarded to be a witch and there are quite a few things she says throughout the book that implies she is at least psychic.  I love Grandma Zelda.  The "lessons" from her at the beginning of each chapter are entertaining and sometimes priceless (I had to read the one on waxing out loud to my DH).  She never leaves her house but always manages to be at the centre of everything happening in Cannes, California.

 

What's happening in Cannes now is an invasion of Pagan's awaiting the Arrival.  They've taken over the town and hilarity is right around the corner.  Collapsing yurts, broken chakras, donkeys and public fornication - Oh! and a truly gold moment with a steel pipe.  Truly, the scene where we get to "hear" the police radio band had me giggling out loud.  It is truly a comedic sub-plot for much of the book.

 

The main plot, the murder of the town's dentist, was really well crafted.  Suspects abound and I never had a clear suspicion of who committed the gruesome murder.  In the end there was a bit of a twist, and I ended up not seeing it coming at all.  I love when that happens!  My only nitpick with the plot is

Police Chief Spencer Bolton makes a comment about mid-way through the book indicating that a poisonous plant is what ultimately killed the dentist - this is never, ever followed up on.  I'm not sure if it's an oversight or if I missed the point of that scene (perhaps it's meant to intimidate a witness or throw someone off balance...).

(show spoiler)

 

Throughout all of this, Gladie is desperately trying to make a match for a client.  All in all it's a really fun read, and I am really looking forward to the third book.