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Death for Dessert
Death For Dessert by T. Dawn Richard
by T. Dawn Richard

Riotous mildly hard-boiled mystery!

Publisher:  Five Star (September 2004)    

Death for Dessert offers an unusual and unexpected sleuth for the setting who turns the senior citizen residence upside down. The mysteries carefully unfold, not truly solved to the end. The slightly twisted humor and sleuth carries the reader through the pages at a quick clip.

May List's cheating doctor husband has gone one step too far. Although raised to be proper, she is one senior citizen whose husband is not going to leave her for some young Bambi and kill her spirit. She dumps sugar in his gas tank, checks herself into a senior citizen's home and watch out! She's just getting started. All the residents seem to avoid the strange Mrs. Berkowitz who lives next to her, but not May List, at least not until she turns up dead. But wait, what are those crumbs on he corpse's lips? Weren't those the brownies that she had given Mrs. Berkowitz to bribe information out of her? May List must prove her innocence before the corpse is discovered. How can such a proper lady cause such a ruckus? One hilarious escapade after another ensues.

As a character and sleuth, May List certainly stands apart from Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher and other mild senior citizens. Except for absence of the violence and explicit sex typical of the genre, this mystery borders on the hard-boiled. The writing style is intentionally a bit coarse and the sleuth's sees her world with a perspective dynamically askew from the stereotypical elderly sleuth.

Once or twice the literary jokes fall slightly flat but not often. Otherwise, the language lay stimulates and amuses, such as when the author turns "Lord of the Dance" into "Lord Help Us of the Dance" in a particularly suspenseful crazy predicament. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery as a very refreshing change from the typical tame sweet cozy mystery.

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews

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