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Vows, Vendettas and a Little Black Dress

Vows, Vendettas and a Little Black Dress

By: Kyra Davis
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: June 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7783-2789-9
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: July 2010

This fantastically funny author, who is the owner of the snappiest dialogue on record, began and has continued to produce her "Sophie Katz novels" using the best titles that will ever be seen on a library shelf: Sex, Murder and a Double Latte; Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights, and the list goes on. With every single mystery, this author offers action-packed plots and characters that will not only keep you involved in the story, but will make you laugh until you cry at the dialogue between, literally, the coolest people walking the streets of San Francisco.

In this new release, we catch up with Sophie, the young woman who is a mystery writer and part-time sleuth. Although she writes fiction, she has a penchant for getting herself involved in very real crimes. In fact, she even found herself solving a crime and bringing in the killer before the cops had even figured out "who done it." Her boyfriend, Anatoly, is also back on the page. He is a Russian hot guy with a secret past, who works as a private investigator. He still likes his privacy and very rarely talks about himself with Sophie, which puts a terrible strain on their relationship because she truly thinks he's hiding some pretty big secrets from her.

When we begin our story, we are in the hospital with all the members of Sophie's strange, intimate family - the only family she can stand - which are her friends. We have Marcus, the super-studly, gay hairstylist who is just about the funniest man in America; Mary Anne, a cosmetician who is lovely and kind, although more than a little dumb. In fact, she thinks euthanasia is when people refer to young adults in China. But, intellect be damned, she is a master with a blush brush and mascara wand. And...she is finally getting married to a wonderful man named Monty who has an obsession with DisneyLand.

The reason this strange little group is gathered at the hospital is because Dena - Sophie's best friend who likes to wear leather and runs a shop called "Guilty Pleasures," which sells all those "things" that couples like to use in the privacy of their bedrooms, has been shot. Earlier that evening, Dena, Sophie, and Mary Anne were over at Mary Anne's house, talking about the wedding that will take place at The Happiest Place on Earth, when a stranger came to the door, threw it open, and shot Dena in the back. No one saw the shooter, and all Sophie can think about is a type of vigilante justice that will bring the killer down.

Anatoly promises to help her in her quest to find and punish the criminal, but he wants Sophie to stay out of this one to protect herself from the lunatic that's stalking their little group. Leah, Sophie's sister (and wedding planner, extraordinaire) thinks she knows who did it; a woman by the name of Chrissie who hates Dena because Dena slept with her husband (when he was her fiance). Sophie needs no more information. She goes after the woman with all her might, trying to break her down with her fists, if necessary. As the story goes forward, however, other characters begin to emerge that, quite possibly, are the actual shooter, and Sophie finds herself absolutely confused. An ex-boyfriend arrives on the scene; a woman named Amelia who is more than slightly stoned and is sick of sharing men with Dena; as well as a taxidermist named Fawn who seems more than a little "out there." It soon becomes clear that Dena was not the intended victim, as shots ring out in a park that seem to be aimed at Mary Anne instead.

Readers will absolutely love the therapeutic drinking scene that takes place in this book, and the conversations between the characters will leave every fan in stitches. From Sophie trying to figure out how and what it means that Mary Anne committed Hairy C (heresy :)), and the wedding that is being planned that will have Tinkerbelle throwing glitter dust on the guests as Mary Anne boards her Cinderella carriage and rides off with her prince, readers will want to have a box of Kleenex beside them to catch the tears of laughter that will DEFINITELY not stop flowing.

Quill Says: You have never wanted a group of friends more than these friends in all your life. The love and support they show each other is truly fantastic, but the humor is what really brings these story to life. Every scene has a laugh out loud moment as the mystery unfolds; and, every chapter offers a quote at the beginning that deserves to be etched on bumper stickers, magnets, or buttons. Example...It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind. Apparently it's a man's prerogative to not use his mind at all. In addition, the author has left a great "opening" for the next Sophie Katz mystery which I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on.

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