Thursday, August 05, 2010
Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels
Title: Don of the Dead
Author: Casey Daniels
Publisher: Avon, 2006
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, #1 Pepper Martin mystery
Source: Paperback Swap
First Line: I have to admit, the first time Gus Scarpetti spoke to me, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention.
Pepper Martin is a spoiled little rich girl. Growing up with wealthy Doctor Daddy, she's coasted along on her looks and her money; not applying herself in school because she knew an advantageous marriage awaited her. Well, it did until Doctor Daddy was convicted of Medicare fraud. Abandoned by her snooty fiance and stripped of every luxury she was accustomed to, Pepper is skating atop the thin ice of life as a tour guide in a Cleveland, Ohio cemetery and dreaming of working in the shoe department of Saks Fifth Avenue (at least until the real Mr. Right comes along).
While she's guiding some old folks around the cemetery, she falls and cracks her head on the steps of the mausoleum of gangster Gus Scarpetti. Now all of a sudden, she's being harassed by a ghost who insists that she finds out who really killed him outside his favorite restaurant. Pepper would rather ace her Saks job interview and concentrate on Mr. Handsome Cop and Mr. Handsome Brainy Geek, but Gus just won't take no for an answer.
As a first book and the first book in a series, Don of the Dead was uneven. The two new men in her life seemed to fade in and out, only showing up when required by the plot, which also had some gaps.
Unfortunately Pepper is one of the most annoying types of characters I can encounter in any type of book: the whiny little rich girl who thinks her best feature is her boobs. I originally started counting the number of times Pepper thrust her assets in some poor hapless male's face, but I had to stop because it was merely annoying me. And before anyone reading this review thinks I'm jealous... well, I laugh in your general direction. Compared to me, Pepper is flat-chested.
By book's end the plot, pacing and characterization had come together, and I can see where this first book holds real promise for the continuation of the series. I am curious about these future books, but I may have to pass on them unless someone in the know can tell me that Pepper starts believing that her true assets rely on IQ, not cup size.
My Book Rating Scale:
A+...Don't delay, get your hands on a copy of this book!
A...I loved it!
B...I really liked it.
C...I liked it, with a few reservations.
D...I finished it, but it's not my cup of tea.
- Phoenix, Arizona, United States
- Hi! I'm addicted to books (especially crime fiction), laughter and traveling off the beaten path. In my free time, when my eyes aren't glued to the printed page, one of them is usually pressed against the viewfinder of my camera. Let's see... books, laughter, travel, photography. Anything else? Oh yeah-- my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.