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REVIEW: Disappearing Nightly by Laura Resnick

Dear Ms. Resnick:

I think that you are an underrecognized author who is on the cusp of a real breakthrough. Your entry from the Luna line was smart and funny.

Disappearing Nightly Laura ResnickEsther Diamond is the understudy to Golly Gee, a B list pop star with a mediocre voice and a yen for acting. The current Broadway production involves a magician’s act. During the act, Golly Gee goes into her disappearing box and never reappears. Golly Gee’s disappearance is just one of several disappearing acts gone bad. Esther Diamond has to solve the mystery before she is forced to be the next one in the disappearing act. With the help of a 300+ year old alchemist, Esther Diamond has to fight a virgin hunting demon in order to save herself and her friends.

The romance in this story is sparse but provide some of the best scenes. I hope you don’t mind me liberally quoting from your book but your dialogue is so superior than any words that I could use to describe it.

Lopez had a nondescript car parked illegally near the magic shop. A handy official notice propped in the window warned other cops not to make the mistake of assuming that parking statutes applied to this vehicle the way they did to others.

He opened the passenger door for me, then got into the driver’s seat while I buckled up.

“Where to?” he asked. He kept his gaze forward and was frowning slightly.

“I haven’t had dinner yet,” I heard myself say.

He let out his breath and leaned his forehead against the steering wheel.

We were silent for a moment, not looking at each other.

“We can’t have dinner together,” he said at last.

“I wasn’t asking–””

“Yes, you were.” He lifted his head and sat back.

In for a penny, in for a pound, so I said, “Okay, why can’t we have dinner together?”

“I can’t date someone who’s part of a current investigation.”

“It wouldn’t be a date.”

“Yes, it would,” he said, “and you know it would. You know it’s been on my mind ever since I saw you without glitter and green body paint all over everything but your teeth.”

“It has?” I asked, pleased.

He gave me an exasperated look. “No, I always make inappropriate comments when I’m interviewing women, Esther. It’s my ambition to get suspended for sexual harassment.”

Look – a cop who actually doesn’t sleep with a suspect. The cop is smart. He is able to put 2 + 2 together and get 4. He’s able to pick up on subtle clues and he does actual investigating. Esther is great fun herself and the twist at the end (as to who actually is the virgin who gets sacrificed) is a complete hoot. I really hope to see more of Lopez in the next book.

I could probably quote for a year from this book but I won’t. Okay, just one more scene? I loved the breakfast scene.

Off the record or not, he was on the job again. “Esther, just tell me straight up. Do you really believe the stuff that Max Zadok was spouting in my house yesterday?”

“He went to your house?” I said, puzzled.

“My precinct house,” Lopez amended.

“You tell me something straight up,” I said. “Are you satisfied that he’s no threat to–”” I stopped when I heard an unfamiliar jingle. “What’s that?”

“Excuse me.” He reached into his pocket and withdrew his cell phone, then frowned when he read the caller ID. “I’d better answer it. She’ll just keep calling every twenty minutes if I don’t. I’m sorry, Esther. This won’t take long.”

He flipped open his phone and, with a look of long-suffering patience, said, “Hi, Mom.”

B

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

11 Comments

  1. Nicole
    Apr 13, 2006 @ 09:02:30

    I liked Disappearing Nightly, but it was too light for me. It just didn’t seem to go anywhere. I’ll probably read the next one, but this one isn’t a keeper. Too…fluffy.

  2. Jayne
    Apr 13, 2006 @ 12:08:30

    I’m with Jane and my grade would have been a little better with more romance in the book. I hope that this will be remedied in the following book (dare I hope for books?). The Virgin sacrifice scene was a scream too.

    I liked that the funny scenes weren’t just to show off Ms. Resnick’s wit but actually advanced the story. Too many authors seem to think I’m going to just love reading how clever they are and won’t notice that the scene is going nowhere. Nonnie St. James comes to mind here.

  3. sybil
    Apr 13, 2006 @ 22:31:05

    May I just say to you… Fallen From Grace.

    You’re welcome. Do blog about it after you read it ;). And don’t let the summary put you off. It is amazing. Romance lost a hell of an author when Resnick went scifi hopefully this series will do well.

  4. Jayne
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 04:57:26

    Yes, Fallen from Grace is a great book. Even if the hardback cover is, well to be honest, Brad Pitt on a really bad day. It’s been a while since I’ve read it so I’d need to brush back up on it before blogging but the honesty of the book was a refreshing change.

    Have you ever read any of her other early books, Sybil? A friend once recommended “A Blonde in Africa” or something close to that but I’ve never taken the time to hunt down a copy.

  5. jmc
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 05:53:39

    I’m reading Resnick’s Into the Fire, a straight fantasy book, right now. Disappearing Nightly has now be added to my wish list. Thanks for the excellent review/letter.

  6. Tara Marie
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 05:59:15

    This is definitely going on my too look for list. Love the banter about the not gay/priest brothers. Too funny.

  7. Keishon
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 15:35:26

    Fever Dreams is *still* my favorite.

  8. Jane
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 20:19:32

    I don’t know what my favorite Resnick is. I do have a bunch of older ones. I think Jayne and I read a whole bunch of them at one time – or was that someone else? Some where terrible and some were pretty good. Overall, I really like her voice.

  9. Keishon
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 21:54:57

    Ulterior Motives was a good one.I haven’t bothered to read the rest but I think Jayne (?) did read most of them as well as someone else, too, I think, Shelly.

  10. sybil
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 22:25:09

    I have Fever Dreams! It is even on my need to read shelf. Which I shall be posting a list of soon. hee I couldn’t remember why I wanted it. Prolly your fault keishon ;).

    Yes, Fallen From Grace was republish (this year?) in trade and has a MUCH better cover. Such a good book. I think I have Disappearing Nightly and The Black Sheep to read as well. The Blonde book is nonfiction but does look interesting.

  11. Jayne
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 04:28:58

    Jane you are correct when you guess that the other person is not me. FFG and DN are the only Resnick books I’ve tried though I have been looking for some copies of a SciFi series that’s been recommended.

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