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A Cece Caruso Mystery
By Susan Kandel

Avon, March 28, 2006 ($6.99)
ISBN: 0060581085

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

I never read a single Nancy Drew book during my childhood. Still haven't read a one. But that didn't stop me from enjoying NOT A GIRL DETECTIVE. And truth be told, the next time I'm in a bookstore, I might pick up a Nancy Drew book or two.

Now, let's get things straight! It is my understanding that the Cece Caruso series (There are two books in the series so far. The third book will be out soon.) is supposed to be light-hearted and funny. Of course Cece is over-the-top. That's part of the fun of the whole thing. Listen, read page one. If you are laughing and can't wait to turn over to page two, then you'll probably like the book. (I can't speak for the whole series yet, since this is the first book I've read by the author.) If by the end of page one, you don't think Cece is a hoot, then this might not be the book for you.

For those of you who haven't met Cece Caruso yet, let me introduce her. She is a biographer of dead mystery authors. Her current project is to research Carolyn Keene, the pseudonym used by the writers of the Nancy Drew mystery series. She might best be described as a "zany" character. I fell in love with her on page one.

The author has provided Cece with two sidekicks, "cheerful" Lael and "conniving" Bridget. She has a cop boyfriend and there's a dead body. What more could you want to get a mystery started?

The author has done a wonderful job of pacing. The dialogue is snappy and at times, hilarious. I like the way the research is worked into the plot. I can hardly wait to read about Cece's next research project! In the meantime, I'm going to go dig up a copy of I DREAMED I MARRIED PERRY MASON.

Other titles in this series include: I DREAMED I MARRIED PERRY MASON and the soon to be published SAM SPADE IN THE GREEN ROOM.

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