Jun 27 2008
Dear Ms. Cumbie and Ms. McClanahan,
Your first book was a delight, second I haven’t read, third was a disappointment and fourth I almost didn’t read. Ha. Let that be a lesson to me. From the blurb, I knew that this would be more comedy and mystery than romance and in the last book I had decried the lack of Buddy Overstreet and Vic Martin. I also realized that I’d probably be in for lots of culture clashes between the good ole girls from west Texas and the people of New York City. Both of these didn’t thrill me. But by gum you pulled it off and had me laughing even as the management of the Anson hotel whimpered at the damage unleashed in the wake of Debbie Sue Overstreet and Edwina Perkins-Martin – hair dressers extraordinaire and PIs still in training.
If “Shoes” had only been an ‘us vs them’ treatment of the differences between small town west Texans and brash Yankees, I’d have gotten tired of it pretty quickly. But I love the way you two have everyone pretty much end up laughing with each other. Sure there are some myths dispelled and some gentle fun poked at common misconceptions but on the whole, Debbie Sue, Edwina and their new friend Celina head towards NYC excited about seeing it and determined to have a great time. And NYC seems to enjoy the Texas women just as much.
The murder mystery isn’t really the main focus of the book and as such I was okay with it simmering on the back burner for most of the book. But when it does move to the forefront of the plot, our two girls use their intuition and street smarts to crack the case and ensure the villain is fingered. Though the way Debbie Sue goes about making sure the evidence remains at the crime scene is probably one that will give the NYC police and fire departments ulcers. I would hope in the future that if Ed is taking off after a criminal, she changes out of her platform shoes before the chase begins. And oh, what she has to do to her Jimmy Choos!
Wow, Celina and Matt fall in love fairly quickly. And I mean quickly. After four days he’s ready to move 2000 miles away to a totally different environment and commit to HEA lurve? Hmmm, falling in love? Yes, fine, that’s sweet as Debbie Sue and Ed agree. Being in love and staying in love takes a bit more time for me to really believe it. Plus Debbie Sue says something about Matt bothers her but it’s never explained what it is that’s setting her off. Nor is there a scene where she changes her mind or is reassured that the thing behind her feeling is taken care of. Or if there was, I missed it.
Jennie talks about books being readable. They might have flaws, they might push your buttons, they might not rate high grades but they’re compulsively readable. I was glued to this book for 4 hours, flipping pages like a revolving door in a hurricane. When a book amuses me, involves me and entertains me without pissing me off, I tend to grade higher and this one gets a B+