Death Takes a Mistress

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
256 Pages
Reviewed on 03/04/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ellen Odza for Readers' Favorite

Death Takes a Mistress by Rosemary and Larry Mild is the second book featuring Dan and Rivka Sherman, but although there are references to the first book, it’s not necessary to have read the first one to enjoy this one. The plot revolves around a cold case - the 23-year-old murder in Bath of a single mother with a baby daughter, Ivy. Growing up, Ivy is obsessed with her mother’s murder and believes that Scotland Yard did not put enough effort into the case. After graduating from college, Ivy is determined to locate her biological father, the man she believes murdered her mother all those years ago. Following some clues in her mother’s journal, Ivy travels to Annapolis, Maryland, and takes a job in the bookstore owned by Dan and Rivka. They quickly become friends and when Ivy confides her true purpose in coming to Annapolis, they aid her in her search.

This book is very well written, with enough red herrings and surprises to keep me guessing until the end. Dan and Rivka are great characters, just quirky enough to be fun. Ivy is a very interesting character, with a lot of depth. I quickly became invested in her quest for justice (or revenge?) and was completely hooked. The descriptions of the various locations are extremely evocative. I can clearly picture Dan and Rivka’s Old Victorian Bookstore, with its Dungeon entrance, the soda fountain at Phil’s Pharmacy, and Beth Israel synagogue. The Jewish elements of the story were well done; not so detailed that someone unfamiliar with the religion would be confused but detailed enough for a Jewish reader like me to enjoy. The descriptions of the Shabbat meals made my mouth water!

Death Takes a Mistress is fast-paced enough to keep my attention and the plot twists made it impossible to put down. I’m definitely going to be looking for the first book in this series and I hope Rosemary and Larry Mild plan to write a third!