Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review of Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair

Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair
Penelope has been feeling somewhat cranky lately and nothing could bust me out of my funk. Not my new professional margarita maker. Not a soak in the hot tub at the pool. Not even Top Chef Masters edition. Then, I dove into Annette Blair's latest installment of the Vintage Magic Mystery series, Larceny and Lace, and my whole mood changed. It was better than Lexapro, baby! Why, you ask, did this delightful book accomplish what no frozen alcoholic beverage was able to do? Where to start? Awesome first person narrative, colorful, smart and sassy heroine Madeira Cutler, touching secondary characters including a romantic ghost pining for his lost love who is now 103 years old, as well as a lovely secondary story line with Maddie's widowed father and her Aunt Fiona, snappy dialogue, intriguing mystery (with no excessive blood and violence, which I detest...I like to call Annette's stories "light" mysteries), and finally, delicious sexual tension with Detective Wiener (oops! I meant Werner...hee hee!).

Blair's writing is an absolute breath of fresh air...witty, original, perfectly-paced, and filled with fascinating tidbits. The vintage clothing angle rocks out and makes me want to jump onto a train to NYC and shop for vintage clothes like I did during my freshman year at Vassar with my best friend Jilly B. In spite of the fact that this book has no sex scenes, I hardly noticed. Why? Because the delicious and unexpected sexy undercurrents flowing between Maddie and Wiener (oops! I mean Werner) were soooo totally satisfying. Plus, there was even a scene with a dachshund! You have got to be kidding me...all my favorite things in one book, even a wiener dog!!! Yippee! The only thing that makes me sad about this book is that it's over.

All right, confession time. I actually cried TWO times while reading this book (I know, I know, I'm a big crybaby). The scene where Maddie and her father both smell chocolate, a paranormal indicator that her dead mother's presence is being felt by both of them, was so sweet and touching, I welled up and cried. And the final scene of this book is absolutely wondrous! It was hands-down the best scene in a book I have read in...well, forever. So romantic, so sweet, so embarrassed I was blubbering when my kids got home.

Thank you, Annette Blair, I bow down to the greatness that is this book. Now if there was only a way to package it in pill form, I would be all set. I'm not sure if there is a grade good enough for this baby, so I'm bestowing my first A++! Grade: A++
Larceny and Lace will be released on August 4. It is available for pre-order now from Amazon.
Ready to shop till I drop,