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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

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Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Long, Jeff: The Wall | Main | Falco, Edward: Wolf Point »

Colt, Jennifer: The Butcher of Beverly Hills

  

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Broadway Books © 2005, 357 pages [amazon]
3.5 stars

In this series opener twin PI's Kerry and Terry McAfee (of "Double Indemnity Investigations") are hired by Beverly Hills socialite Lenore Richling--their great aunt's good buddy--to track down Lenore's boy-toy husband and the fistful of jewelry he's run off with. The case seems straightforward enough, but their client hasn't told the girls everything, in particular that her hubby's likely to be packing heat and that she herself has been flirting with blackmail. The twins' investigation winds up involving insurance fraud and medical malpractice, drug pushing and multiple murders among the wealthy and surgically reconstructed. Kerry and Terry tool around on their signature vehicle, a hot pink Harley, collecting clues, outrunning bad guys, and getting on one another's nerves: despite their identical DNA, the girls are polar opposites. Even-tempered Kerry, who narrates the story, is the stereotypical good girl, the high school valedictorian turned law-abiding detective. Terry, the more impetuous and aggressive of the two, has served time for possession. Their differences extend to their sexual preferences: Terry is a lesbian, while Kerry spends much of the book lusting after one of the policemen the girls butt heads with during their investigation, an apparently perfect example of the male of the species.

The book's tongue-in-cheekiness goes a bit too far at times, too, as when the girls' Aunt Reba responds with unrealistic insouciance to her son's ostensible coronary.The Butcher of Beverly Hills, as its vibrant cover suggests, is a breezy beach-read of a book. Jennifer Colt's protagonists exchange witty banter with one another and approach the dangers of their occupation with something less than complete seriousness. In fact, the twins, while likeable enough characters, come across as too amateurish to be quite credible as professional investigators. The book's tongue-in-cheekiness goes a bit too far at times, too, as when the girls' Aunt Reba responds with unrealistic insouciance to her son's ostensible coronary:

"Reba sighed again and turned around to pick up the phone, punching in 911. 'Hello? Reba Price-Slatherton here. Be a dear and send a cardiac unit to my address. Yes, that's correct. Well, I believe my son has had a massive heart attack. Thank you very much.'

"As Terry and I sat there open-mouthed, she whipped out an alligator checkbook and readied a Mont Blanc pen.

"'Now, how much do I owe you?'"

The scene is cute, but it doesn't work because the reader cannot forget that a concerned mother would not be so nonchalant in the face of her son's collapse. In a similarly distracting passage, Kerry unthinkingly bites the hand of the man standing next to her at a memorial service--the hunky policeman she's hot for but has not yet hooked up with--lest she erupt in inappropriate laughter. In both passages the characters' implausible behavior drags the reader's attention away from the author's fictional world.

The Butcher of Beverly Hills isn't perfect, but it's a decent light read that packs some clever turns of phrase. A good choice if you're up for something frothy and fun.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.