Friday, October 8, 2010

Murder Can Rain On Your Shower by Selma Eichler

book cover

Murder Can Rain On Your Shower
by Selma Eichler

ISBN: 0-451-20823-4
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Signet
Released: March 2003

Source: Bought at a fund raiser garage sale.

Book Description from Back Cover:
Desiree Shapiro's niece, Ellen, will soon be saying, "I do." So Manhattan's pudgiest P.I. teams up with Ellen's future mother-in-law to give the bride-to-be a truly memorable shower. And memorable, it is. After all, when a guest takes a few bites of her salad, then promptly keels over, no one present is likely to forget the occasion.

Naturally, being a dedicated foodie, Desiree knows plenty of "to die for" dishes, but a green salad isn't one of them. Once she begins to look into the victim's death--and life--Desiree is convinced that she's dealing with a homicide...and that a number of backbiting society ladies had every reason to want scheming, man-hungry Bobbie Jean dead. Meanwhile, Desiree has a new love interest. But romance will have to wait because the police are perilously close to arresting an innocent woman for the crime.

Murder Can Rain On Your Shower is a humorous mystery novel. But Desiree is not a very clever or dedicated private investigator. She was very easily distracted from the case and would stop work the moment someone suggested going out to dinner or she felt upset or she felt like having a bubble bath. She even did hated housework instead of work on the case! It's amazing she got anything done on the case except that most of the interviews were done over breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Desiree also overlooked obvious clues and possibilities in preference of the easiest route--focusing on "the obvious suspects." When she finally noticed a few, slight clues, she made up a whole story of how the murder could have been done, promptly decided that's how it must have been done, and then she's shocked the police don't call her a hero and immediately go out to arrest the person. Not to mention that she lied to the police and regularly lied to and manipulated people but didn't see anything wrong with it. The only reason she solved the murder was because, in my opinion, the person wanted to get caught.

That said, the characters were charming in a lying, manipulative sort of way. The details about the food, decor, and appearances were vivid if those sorts of things interest you. The mystery wasn't difficult to solve--I saw the possibility of who and how back when the murder was committed, but I figured it was too obvious. I'm still convinced it was someone else. While quite possible, I wasn't satisfied by the solution.

There was a minor amount of bad language. While the murdered woman was a seductress, there was no explicit sex described. Overall, I'd recommend this novel to people who enjoy humorous investigators but don't care so much about clever mysteries.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
I'd been practically wired on my way over to Ellen's that Sunday morning. I mean, I wanted so much for her to be surprised by the bridal shower that Allison Lynton--mother of the bridegroom--and I were throwing for her. And of course, there was a better than even chance that some blabbermouth had already managed to give the whole thing away.

As soon as Ellen got in the car, though, I could tell from her expression, which was more or less placid--for Ellen, anyway--that she had no idea what had been planned.

Weeks ago, Allison's future sister-in-law, Bobbie Jean--a member of Silver Oaks--had telephoned her, ostensibly to extend an invitation to lunch at her club. "We have to start getting to know each other," the woman had declared--they'd met only once before at a gathering of some kind. "After all, in a few months we'll be family. And speaking of family, your future mother-in-law--she'll be there, too, of course--tells me you have an aunt in Manhattan you're very close to--a private investigator, she said. I'd like to have her join us if she can make it."

And now, here we were, driving out to Forsythe, Long Island--and Ellen's surprise.

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