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Stevi Mittman

REVIEW:  Whose Number is Up, Anyway? by Stevi Mittman

REVIEW: Whose Number is Up, Anyway? by Stevi Mittman

Dear Mrs Mittman,

Whose Number Is Up, Anyway? (Harlequin Next)Thank you for the autographed copy of your latest Teddi Bayer mystery. Did you and Jane meet up at RWA or something? She said nothing to me about it but all of a sudden, here’s this nice surprise in the mail. I’m glad to say I think book four is humming along and keeping me entertained. I did notice that a lot more of the story appears to be focused on Drew and Teddi’s romance/relationship but that makes sense at this point. Not that the mystery bits were bad– in fact I enjoyed the reason for the killer’s motivation. After all, who hasn’t dreamed that way?

I totally agree with Teddi: who would want to survive if you can’t eat chocolate? Re Teddi’s problems with Dana — sounds like you’ve gone through the “mother dealing with a growing teenage girl” years yourself. This is something I’ve enjoyed throughout this series — how good and caring a mother Teddi is. It’s easy to stand at the sidelines and know exactly how to handle these crisises but hard when you’re in the middle of the pile-up. I think, despite the time needed to get her fledgeling decorating business off the ground and help Drew solve murders, Teddi does a great job.

As for Drew’s partner, Hal — if someone calls for help and he does nothing, can his badge be suspended? It needs to be. And how can June hang out with Carmine? Does she still feel betrayed by her husband’s one time affair? But it was a long affair so – maybe. Mark is almost too good to be believed. Teddi needs to stop causing him problems — a good handyman is worth his weight in gold. ;) Teddi also needs to stop wearing short skirts and high heels, especially in combo during sleet storms.

Teddi’s doing better about calling for help/getting backup — I guess all her family’s comments about her dying and Rio getting the kids finally made an impression and the scenes set in front of the the various deli counters in the area were priceless. Life in Long Island really is cut-throat in more ways than who’s number is up next. B


Dear Author

REVIEW: Why is Murder on the Menu, Anyway? by Stevi...

Dear Ms. Mittman,

Why Is Murder On The Menu, Anyway? (Harlequin Next)I’m so glad to learn that the “Next” line isn’t kaput like I thought I had heard it would be and that the second book in this series is already out. Or would you call it the third since there is another book from last year about Teddi’s breakup with her first husband? Was there a mystery in that one too? I’m confused since Teddi met the handsome police detective, Drew, in “What Goes with Blood Red, Anyway?”

Teddi Bayer is trying to show her mother that her interior design business is taking off by taking her mother to lunch at the establishment of her latest client. Her mother isn’t all that impressed with the steak house and keeps harping on a familiar theme: why can’t Teddi find a nice Jewish man to date, like the man in the corner table? Well, that relationship is doomed before it starts when said gentleman is found a few minutes later in the mens room with a bullet between the eyes. Pretty soon Teddi finds herself being interrogated by handsome detective Drew Scoones again, trying to juggle raising her three children with building her design business, trying to get her slimy ex-husband completely out of her life, keeping her blood pressure down despite all her mother does to raise it and desperately searching for a place to hold her eldest daughter’s bat mitzvah reception. It’s all in a day’s work on Long Island.

You’ve got an interesting relationship going between Teddi and Drew. Even after two books, I’m not sure these two are headed towards anything more than a great sexual relationship. I’m enjoying watching it and their sexy banter and times in bed. The scenes of Teddi and Bobbie at the funeral were a scream too.

I have to ask, is Teddi’s mother based on a real person? This woman would slay me. She’s got to be the most manipulative character I’ve ever seen. You’ve written this as a kind of a “sex in the city” crossed with a mystery, very into labels and brands and public image/appearance. Is this based on people you know or did you exaggerate for effect?

This is the second mystery in a row where Drew suspects one of Teddi’s friends. Does he just have a blind spot where she’s concerned? And how can he keep showing up whenever Teddi is in trouble? Doesn’t the man ever sleep?

Though it’s toned down from the first book, Teddi still skates too close to the edge sometimes for a woman who has three young children dependent upon her. All she has to do is think of them living with her parents or her slimy ex-husband to tone down her willingness to head into danger to solve a case.

I think one area where you really excel is with Teddi’s children. Poor Dana acts like a 13 year old would when “her day” is almost ruined and Alyssa’s fear that her place as her father’s “little girl” is being taken makes sense too. I have one more question: is Carmine with the mob or not? I never could figure that out.

Now I need to go back and get a copy of the anthology with the Christmas/ Hannakuh story in it. In the meantime, B- for this one.