Candyce "Dyce" Dare has come a long way since then. Now she's a single, divorced mother with her own furniture refinishing business-- Daring Finds-- and a young son she'd like to be able to feed something besides pancakes. Dyce is learning all the best places in Goldport, Colorado, to find discarded pieces of furniture that she can refinish for a good price. The dumpster behind the Goldport College campus is not one of those places. Climbing inside the smelly metal container for a very promising looking table, Dyce discovers a corpse-- a corpse that's been dipped in lye, a furniture refinishing technique. It's that one small clue that sends Dyce out sleuthing to clear her good name.
This is an enjoyable beginning to a cozy mystery series. Although Dyce and I don't see eye to eye about taking a paint brush to a piece of furniture, I did learn several good tips about furniture refinishing, and I loved her irreverent sense of humor. Another part of her charm for me was Dyce's ability to look at a piece of furniture and see its potential. It's the sort of ability that anyone who's decorated a house on the cheap can appreciate, and it bodes well for future mystery-inducing finds for her store.
Hyatt has a different take on parents who have a bookstore background, and between family, former spouses, and friends, there's quite the support group to help her in future investigations. I found the plot to be a bit weak, but the characterization and writing style are winners, and I look forward to reading more in the series.
Dipped, Stripped, and Dead by Elise Hyatt
Berkley Prime Crime © 2009
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Cozy Mystery, #1 Daring Finds mystery
Source: Paperback Swap