Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ding Dong Dead - Deb Baker

Ding Dong Dead
A Dolls To Die For Mystery
Deb Baker
Berkley Prime Crime


Gretchen Birch is happily settling into her new life as a doll restoration artist in Phoenix, AZ. An anonymous donor has given the Phoenix Dollers a large house and an even larger collection of dolls. The Dollers are hard at work creating a doll museum. Gretchen’s Aunt Nina, a self-proclaimed psychic, claims that the place is haunted by the spirit of a little girl who will be unable to rest until her doll is reunited with its antique trunk.

When her boyfriend, Matt, a detective, is called to a murder scene in a cemetery, Gretchen can’t help taking a look. One of the gravestones near the body bears the message “Die, Dolly, Die,” in lipstick. Nearby, police find a fairy-like doll. Gretchen’s mother, a doll expert, recognizes the piece and is able to identify the victim, another collector. And when someone leaves an identically worded note on Gretchen’s car, she knows she’s in trouble again.

This is the fourth installment in this series (DOLLED UP FOR MURDER, GOODBYE DOLLY.) Some of the chapters are written from a different point of view, in (mostly) present tense. I think this was intended to give readers the sense of the characters being watched by the ‘bad guy,’ but they’re oddly placed in the narrative, and not given any visual distinction, making the transition a bit awkward. It seems, this time around, that the mystery plotline is a bit simplified and abbreviated. For those who have been following this series, the characters do continue to develop, creating fresh opportunities for future books.

Rating: 6
December 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22502-8 (paperback)


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