Monday, March 4, 2019

The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco (A Book Club Mystery #1)

Author:  Laura DiSilverio
Genre:   Mystery

Mass Market Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9780451470836
Obsidian Mystery
336 Pages
$7.99; $2.99 Amazon
April 7, 2015

Amy-Faye has always loved her idyllic Rocky Mountain town of Heaven, Colorado.  Her event-planning business is thriving, her fellow book-obsessed Readaholics are great, and her parents live only a few blocks away.  But lately her hometown has felt a little less heavenly.  First, she agrees to plan a wedding without realizing the groom is her ex-boyfriend.  Then Ivy, one of her fellow Readaholics, dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances.

The police rule Ivy's death a suicide by poisoning, but Amy-Faye and the remaining Readaholics suspect foul play.  Amy-Faye soon discovers that Ivy was hiding dangerous secrets - and making deadly enemies.  Taking a page from her favorite literary sleuths, Amy-Faye is determined to find the real killer and close the book on this case.  But finding the truth could spell her own ending.


When Amy-Faye is heading to a new potential job of planning a wedding, she meets with the prospective bride.  She doesn't find out until later that the groom is going to be her ex-boyfriend, Doug.  Shaken, she tries not to let it show and agrees to go ahead anyway.  Then, after the latest meeting of the Readaholics, where they're discussing Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, Amy Faye discovers one of their members ill, and Ivy later dies from what appears to be suicide by poison.  But Amy Faye doesn't believe she killed herself, and will do whatever it takes to find out the truth.

It doesn't help that the new detective in town, Lindell Hart, thinks the case is closed and tells her to let it go.  But Amy Faye isn't so sure and enlists the help of her friends to find out why Ivy was murdered.  Once she starts digging, she finds out more than she wants to know, and it could put her in the reach of someone who's killed once and doesn't mind doing it again...

I really wanted to like this book - after all, there's a cute cat on the cover, and who doesn't like cozies with cats?  Well, this author, apparently...

The book begins when Amy Faye finds a small kitten on the way to her meeting.  Since the first chapters are about her and her new acquisition of the kitten, I'm thinking she has a new kitten.  But this is the worst case of bait and switch by any author that I've ever read, and I read over 300 books every year.  She begins by telling you about the poor little adorable kitten, it away because she can't be bothered with a kitten.  But silly me - because a kitten is on the cover, I actually thought there would be a kitten in the book (there is one scene where the person she gave it to brings it to one of their meetings, so I assume we're supposed to know it's loved and fine; I don't buy it.)

She decides she's "too busy" to care for it and must get rid of it.  So, instead of giving this little thing a warm and safe home, she gives it to someone who takes it to be an outdoor cat - where there are predators - not even caring, not thinking it could get parasites; because, after all, what does she care if the kitten gets fleas or parasites and is constantly scratching?  Before those who have outdoor cats get upset, I'm of the opinion that cats should be strictly indoor.   You can't use the argument you're 'too busy' with me; cats are fine on their own, and low maintenance, unlike dogs.  They don't need to be taken for a walk, and you don't have to kennel them when you travel.  I lead a full life, and my cats are perfectly happy.

Anyway, now that I'm done with my rant about indoor vs. outdoor cats, there were other problems with this book as well:  She agrees to plan her ex-boyfriend's wedding, but is stunned by the fact that he's getting married.  Because, it seems, she didn't know they were completely broken up.  Since they've had an on-again, off-again relationship, she thought they were just in the off-again stage.  And other people knew - like her best friend Brooke - but no one bothered to tell her.  How can you call someone your best friend if they have that kind of information but don't share it with you?  And what about Doug's mother?  She's the one who recommended Amy Faye; kudos for throwing business her way, but I suppose his mother never liked her, because she didn't call her first and mention it to her.  I guess she believed they were just 'childhood sweethearts' and that it was all over between them.  That woman would have been off my Christmas card list for sure.

I didn't think the reason for the murder was interesting enough to carry the book, the friends didn't seem like they cared enough to help her investigate, and her best friend Brooke seems too selfish and self-centered for me to like her.  Oh, and there wasn't much about a book club, either, except the people in it.

But to make it worse, the ending completely sucked.  For those that haven't read the book, I'll put it in a spoiler, but be aware it does contain the ending of the book!  So if you don't want to know it, DO NOT read the spoiler!

In my opinion, a vacuum cleaner doesn’t suck as much as this ending.  It was obvious from using a kitten as bait that the author wanted to get people to read her book...and by the ending it was also obvious that she didn't care if they did or not.


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