A Fatal Stain
by Elise Hyatt
Mass Market Paperback:
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: October 2, 2012
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
As her wedding to detective Cas Wolfe approaches, Candyce "Dyce" Dare, sole owner (and employee) of the furniture refinishing business Daring Finds, desperately needs to find something to do to avoid sitting down and planning the event. Working on a table she recently bought at a yard sale fits the bill...until her sanding efforts uncover a disturbing stain. One that looks like it might be blood.
Dyce knows that, with a fiancé who’s a policeman, parents who own a mystery bookstore, and a recent history of inadvertent involvement in murder cases, she can be prone to jumping to wrong conclusions. But then she discovers that the table’s previous owner has gone missing—and once more, she is drawn into a solve-it-yourself mystery project. And when Dyce starts a project, she just has to see it through…
A Fatal Stain is a humorous cozy mystery involving a missing (and possibly dead) woman. It's the third in the series, but you don't need to read the previous mysteries in order to understand this one. However, this book did vaguely spoil the whodunit of the previous mystery.
The story was funny because Dyce was a bit out of touch with reality, but you see why when you meet her parents. She acted childishly and thoughtlessly at times, but she didn't come across as selfish. She was trying to be more mature in her behavior, but she still had a funny outlook on life, and she knew it. Her friends loved her for her odd behavior even though it's sometimes exasperating to them.
For all that she's a bit over the top as a character, Dyce somehow came across as very realistic at her core, and we certainly got to know her well. Her gay best friend also came across as a realistic person with depth as he struggled with the give-and-take required in relationships.
The mystery was clue-based, but I didn't guess the ending though I guessed many of the elements (before Dyce did). Dyce didn't spend much overall time working on furniture refinishing, but the times that she did gave readers a good feel for what the process is like and gave some tips on it.
There was a minor amount of explicit bad language. Sex was implied (mainly between Dyce and her fiancé), but there were no sex scenes. Overall, if you enjoy crazy-humor and mysteries, you'll probably enjoy this novel.
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.
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