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DATING IS MURDER


By Harley Jane Kozak

Broadway, March, 2006
Trade paperback format ($12.95)
ISBN: 0-7679-2124-0

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Wollie Shelley is not quite over her broken engagement but still willing to search for the love of her life. She would like to wait for the man of her dreams (the guy from the broken engagement) but he has a wife and child who will soon figure prominently in a nasty divorce. He's left town. Left the country, actually, in order to be near his kid, who is currently in Japan, with the soon-to-be ex-wife. However, the custody battle for the kid looks like it could go on for years. Wollie's friends insist she seek love elsewhere.

Adding to the distractions, Wollie has to make a living. Being a greeting card artist isn't as lucrative a career as one might hope. She reluctantly agrees to compete on a low budget "reality" TV show called "Biological Clock" because they are willing to pay her $500 each week for two nights' work. "Work" consists of three women and three men dating each other with the show's audience choosing which "couple" should pool their genes and have kids.

Meanwhile Wollie ends up searching for a missing friend. Annika has disappeared. She didn't keep an appointment with Wollie. She didn't call her mother in Germany. Her employers haven't seen her. The last anyone knows about her, she was asking how to get hold of a gun.

It's seems almost unfair to call Wollie an amateur sleuth because she really doesn't intend to move from mystery to mystery. I mean, it's not like she's looking for murder, mystery, and mayhem around every corner. She's just trying to get on with her life, have fun with her friends, find the man of her dreams, and yet she keeps finding herself in the middle of things, when things take a turn for the worse. In this case, when the police won't take her seriously about Annika being in danger, Wollie feels compelled to try to find her friend and help her out of whatever trouble she's gotten into, which of course puts Wollie into more danger than she can imagine.

One of the endearing qualities about the way Wollie's character has been developed by the author, is that she is so much fun, the reader would want to hang out with her, even if she never stumbled across another dead body in her life. Her friends are quirky, but fiercely loyal. Wollie, herself, is a hoot! She's sassy, plucky, and just the kind of friend you'd want if you ever got into trouble yourself.

The author takes a group of odd characters and develops their quirkiness into an absorbing tale that will leave you cheering, laughing out loud, and begging for more.

I liked Kozak's breezy writing style. I think readers will enjoy the mix of mystery and humor, and a touch of romance, and they will want to see what predicament Wollie gets herself into next.

This is the second book in the Wollie Shelley series. Would you like to read a review of the previous book in the series? If so, please click on the book title below.

Please click here to read an interview with the author.

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