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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

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Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

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"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Swann Dive by Arlene Kay

Swann Dive: A Boston Uncommons Mystery - Arlene Kay

Received from publisher via NetGalley for an honest review


Swann Dive is a very fast paced murder mystery with a hint of romance. I, personally, like to have a wee bit more of romance/relationship aspect in the books I read, which I found lacking in this one. However, if you are into more plot driven stories, especially of the whodunnit variety, I would recommend this.


Eja Kane is a murder mystery writer from humble roots who is bestfriends with CeCe Swann, a lawyer heiress. While Eja is waiting for CeCe to arrive at a brunch date, she receives a call from the cops. Never good. Turns out the cops are saying CeCe committed suicide, took a (Swann) dive off a building. Eja refuses to believe it as CeCe had a huge fear of heights and with her murder mystery writer mind, sets out to discover what really happened to CeCe. She does a lot of her sleuthing with Deming Swann, CeCe's twin brother and former tormentor of Eja. What follows is a game of real life clue. A plethora of secondary characters are introduced, CeCe's mother, father, and various murder suspects. It was a full plate of Colonel Mustards and was a tad overwhelming at times.


Like I said, I more focus on the romance/relationship aspect of books and I found the one here to be lukewarm. Deming and Eja grew up together and their intolerance of each other all those years was suppose to be suppressed desire I guess. With CeCe dying I can see why they would find comfort in each other but even as they spent more and more time together, I never felt the chemistry between the two characters. They don't really spend a lot of time together and when they do, it was a lot of cold bickering. I'm also not the biggest down and dirty bedroom scene reader but there could have been a lot more added here.


Other caveats include the tedious designer label name dropping and academia vocabulary.
My middle class roots might be showing but by the 100th designer label name drop I couldn’t care less that the character pulled out her "Hermes notepad" It's just a notepad for Christ's sakes! You've already told us they are billionaires. Please, please, please can it now just be a notepad.

Also, I read peer reviewed articles and journals all day and the verbiage and vocabulary used in those would have a hard time coming close to how ambitious this author was. The thesaurus and dictionary needed to be put down. While it was wonderful to see some oft forgotten words of the English language, it left sentences and the story feeling very overworked. It felt wrong for the type of book this is (or what I feel it is trying to be) and seems to be marketed as. The last 30% or so of the book did seem to mellow out on this as the conclusion of the murder mystery ramped up. Shucks though, I'm just a simple gal and maybe my common reader status got in the way too much.


Anyway, recommended for plot driven fast paced murder mystery junkies. I'll probably still be sticking with Linda Howard and Sandra Brown for my romantic suspense needs though.