Sunday, July 17, 2011

Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio

book cover

Die Buying
by Laura DiSilverio

ISBN-13: 9780425242735
Mass Market Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: August 2, 2011

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Goodreads:
Emma-Joy Ferris likes mall cop work, even though it's a bit more humdrum than the military policing she did in the army. But there's no time to be bored when someone 'liberates' a 15-foot python from the Herpetology Hut, and a mannequin turns out to be a very real corpse.

My Review:
Die Buying is a cozy mystery. There was a nice amount of detail about the setting and job. Suspense was created by the mystery of whodunit and by wondering who was going to die next.

There might have been enough clues by the end to figure out "whodunit" before the reveal, but I lost track of who was who by the last third of the book. The most likely suspects were all similar enough to me as to be hard to keep track of. It also kind of felt like the author had written the story up until then in a way that anyone could have been the "whodunit," then, at the end, randomly chose "whodunit" and came up with an explanation to make it work.

There were a variety of characters, but we didn't get to know any of them very well. While I felt like I should like the main character, E.J., I didn't really care for her. If she wanted to solve the murder to show that she could still do police work with a bad knee, I would have felt sympathy for her. Instead, she did it because she wanted to solve the case before the detective did to make him regret slighting her. That made her seem petty.

Also, the detective was very rude to her, but the first thing E.J. did was check his left hand to see if he was married. He was repeatedly rude to her, yet she was delighted when he showed a flash of appreciation for her physically when she accidentally answered the door to him while wearing nightclothes. Yet a handsome, kind man who showed some attraction to her didn't get a similar response from E.J. It was like E.J. secretly was attracted to be treated badly.

Sex was referred to (as in, "they had an affair"), but there were no sex scenes. There was a minor amount of fake bad language and a fair amount (~70 words) of explicit bad language. Overall, this was an interesting mystery with a unique setting. I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy it.

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
It amazed me how a few hundred feet of tile floors and narrow halls amplified a scream.

With the Fernglen Galleria empty of shoppers at this early hour, the terror-stricken wail ricocheted off the tiles, so I couldn't quite tell where it was coming from. The fear in the sound got to me, though, and I pivoted my Segway, the two-wheeled electric vehicle I used to patrol miles of mall corridors and parking areas, and zoomed past the fountain, the frozen escalator by the food court, and a wing of stores with their grilles down.

"Ai-yi-yi!" came the screech again.

I turned down the narrow hall that led to the restrooms. Fernando Guzman, a member of the mall's maintenance staff, danced wildly around his wheeled gray trash can, flailing a mop this way and that. He looked like a demented warlock performing an incantation around an outsized rubber cauldron. He caught sight of me.

"EJ! Por Dios! Get it off me."

It was then I spotted the dragon on his head. Bearded dragon, that is. An Australian lizard. I only knew that because Kiefer, owner of the mall's reptile store, Herpetology Hut, made a point of instructing me about a different critter every time I stopped to check up on things.

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