Dating is Murder Review
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Sometimes a girl will do some pretty crazy things, if that’s what it takes just to get by. After her fiancé moves halfway around the world to be with his daughter, Wollie Shelley is left to fend for herself. So, to supplement the income from her line of greeting cards and her job painting a frog mural in a friend’s mansion, Wollie lets her friends talk her into appearing on reality TV—but only because of its great health plan incentives.

Wollie becomes a contestant on Biological Clock, a low-budget disaster, on which six contestants date—and, in the end, viewers will decide which pair would make the best parents. Wollie’s heart isn’t really in the game—and it’s even less so once her friend Annika, a German au pair and Wollie’s math tutor, disappears without a trace.

Concerned for her friend (and her math grades), Wolllie is determined not to let Annika become just another Missing Persons file—so she decides to do a little detective work of her own. While she’s busy hunting down Annika’s friends and boyfriend and host family, however, she finds herself tailed by her fellow contestants’ thugs—as well as an FBI agent who will stop at nothing to get Wollie to stop searching for her friend.

Dating is Murder, the second Wollie Shelley novel by actress-turned-novelist Harley Jane Kozak, may not be the most solid of mysteries, but it’s a great summer poolside read for fans of chick-lit mysteries by authors like Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton. Wollie (short for Wollstonecraft—a great literary reference for my fellow English majors out there) is a real, likeable character with her share of quirks. She’s got a bunch of strange jobs—and a strange family to match. She’s stubborn and determined, but she’s a bit of a chicken, too. And while she may not always be a character that you can relate to (unless you’re a greeting-card-frog-mural-artist who’s also on reality TV), she’s definitely a character that you’ll like. In the same way, the story may have a few holes (not to mention a reality TV show that’s pretty ridiculous—even for reality TV), but it’s sure to keep you flipping pages until you find out what happened to Annika.

Dating is Murder is a great addition to any beach bag this summer. While Wollie may not top Stephanie Plum yet in my book, this new series is well worth checking out. I’ll be picking up a copy of the first book in the series, Dating Dead Men, for my summer reading—and I’ll be on the lookout for book three, too.

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