Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life jFact it s laugh out loud funny the kind of book that makes me want to use words like screwball and romp Esther and her friends make a hilarious team and I love watching them interact My favorite scenes include Lucky teaching Max to use gangster lingo and pretty much any scene involving the dog Max would of course correct me I shouldn t call Nelli a dog She s a familiar Doppelgangster is a great mix of urban fantasy humor mystery and maybe a dash of chick lit It had me in stitches I also recommend Resnick s first Esther Diamond book Disappearing Nightly You don t have to read it to follow Doppelgangster s storyline but it s worth tracking down anywayust because it s fun 35 stars Second novel in the Esther Diamond Series This one was stronger than the first Resnick has cleared up some of the annoying ticks that I thought stood out in the first she s calmed down on the cutesy dialogue it feels natural and I thought that the secondary characters were altogether interesting and well written in this follow up installment In this mystery Esther has unfortunately found herself without a paying gig when her off broadway show is finally cancelled She finds herself working at Stella s which is a restaurant that is a popular hangout for some very dangerous wise guy types Unfortunately supernatural happenings are afoot when Esther witnesses a mobster getting killed right before her eyes with no possible killer in sight Esther is an appealing protagonist capable enough but also not uber powered to the point where she s getting out of situations she really has no business being able to solve Worth a read if you liked the first book I read this story in Murder by Magic Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural and I loved it It takes a fresh look at Made Men aka Mafiosos This time they are the victims of supernatural hits Each victim appears to his cronies and performs his normal behavior minutes before he dies Only it s not the victim It s his doppleganger This story managed to do something that I did not feel was possible To feel sorry for mobsters I am not a fan of mafioso types But these guys died in awful ways due to a supernatural curse I loved the know what you are thinking why did I read this when I apprently hated the first in the series The short answer it has been a month of severe reading ADDThe long answer I m enrolled in a class to advance my nursing degree when my employer announces they are merging my nursing unit with a critical care unit in four months So all of a sudden I m also taking classes through work one of which means trying to recover long ago knowledge of cardiac rhythms I had already reuested Kraken from the library and had begged NetGalley for Harrison Suared so I was afraid of Full Brain Syndrome The Esther Diamond series by Resnick seemed to fit the bill for fluffy downtime reading Being on the orderly side of the scale I picked up the first book Disappearing Nightly and discovered in Resnick s introduction that the book has actually gone out of print had the rights reverted and was then updated and republished When I reached a particularly clunky world building chapter on page 90 I decided to set it
downHoping it was a case of first book syndrome her first UF book I thought it was a case of first book syndrome her first UF book I thought d give the second a uick spin Reviews seemed to support that decision Sadly it was even less interesting than the first and I wandered off somewhere around page 100 i came back to the page 100 I came back to the book decided it was better than I originally thought but found the ending such a whopper of poor taste and decision making that I gave it negative stars when I wrote the review Went back to this one because I feel this weird urge for procrastination completion and lost interest again It s probably that I m the wrong audience The Sopranos was the last time I was interested in organized crime but it s also that it Crazy Love just isn t good writingEsther the actress continues to be mostly airheaded and dramatic After witnessing a murder at her waitressingob she is pulled into the mystery of apparent body doubles among the city s organized crime families The cop she is almost dating from book one is now on the Organized Crime Suad so when he s assigned the case he and Esther keep colliding Their romantic tension is cute and probably the most well developed aspect of the story The band of merry men from Disappearing has been replaced with a sidekick from the crime family Lucky and Max s new familiar Nelli Through it all Esther continues to agonize about acting obs the wizard continues to be almost useless and Esther s interview skills continue to annoy There s numerous small plot inconsistencies to add to the irritation One example of a bigger plot hole comes from Nelli who is initially able to identify the duplicates but
unable to identify one a crucial momentThe writing is flat out awkward For instance Esther is trying to get a woman to come with her down into the basementcrypt of the church where Esther thinks she left a shawl I m not really sure why Esther decides she needs the ancillary character to go with her but it becomes an excuse for a long awkward dialogue about the crime family and the woman s three murdered husbands Then Esther instead heads into the crypt with the priest and continues to pump him for information about the widow while she looks for the shawl I still can t tell if it is a character issue or a writing issue because Esther is very over dramatic about insignificant things she shouldn t care about Esther gasps hearing the story of one husband s death and puts her hand up to my own throat imagining a fight Shortly after she offers to help the priest search the lost and found for her shawl is told it is only a cardboard box and then is disappointed Also surprised that her wrap has been stolen from a church The dialogues seem to be meant to provide the reader with red herrings and to provide information about the shawl and a weeping statue but they are ust awkward practically screaming CLUE HEREIt s great if you enjoy it but I can t It s like late series Stephanie Plum review books with less logic and dumb magical elements Besides I ust got a new set of library books in including by Robert Jackson Bennett City of Stairs Dry Storeroom No1 by Richard Fortey and Afterparty by Daryl Gregory We Are All Completely Fine And there are always cardiac rhythms to study. Oughout the city A paranormal screwball comedy adventure Jennifer Crusie Original. ,Is Unable To Identify One
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Alright I ll start off by saying I LOVED this book and then continue on by going right into complaining about it My complaint isn t about the book itself ust a really irritating mishap by I assume the publisher This is not the first book in this series When you open to the list of books in this series this is the first one listed followed by two with little s to indicate they hadn t been published yet The whole reason I read this book was I liked the look of book number three in this series which has in fact now been published I was willing to take the time and start from the beginning and they let me down rantI should probably mention that not reading the first book in no way took away from the story I loved this book and will continue to love it even though a swap in publishers made for one very annoyed KellieAll that being said this book was hilarious The title alone should tell you something It was laugh out loud funny the whole way through It was clever witty and very well written I loved the main character Esther as well as her mafia sidekick Lucky The older sorcerer Max was a little harder to get to know but apparently that was what the first book was for Sorry I said I d stopI love that the mystery had a mob twist on it I m not especially a fan of mob stories actually I m not sure I ve ever read one but it gave this story some uniue flair that I ve never seen before It really helped to build the world that Esther lives in and the people that populate her life Her cop would be boyfriend even manages to play a roll in how the various crime families interacted with the main character I cracked a smile every time someone chimed in with You date a copI ll definitely be reading the next book in the series I will not be going back to read the first though shakes fist All Esther Diamond wants is a decent acting role that she can be proud of and her typically Jewish mother can be proud of as well she ll do anything to get her to stop nagging Plus it would be nice to get a regular paycheck And finally go on a hot sexy date with her police detective boyfriend But it looks as if that s not in the cards for Esther At least not while Mercury is in retrograde and her proverbial ob as a singing waitress at Bella Stella s the mob version of Casablanca is soon to hit the skids When Esther s favorite wiseguy customer Chubby Charlie Chiccante is gunned down in front of her after seeing his mystical doppelganger she s drawn deeply into a web of magical intrigue and the mobster underworld Who is creating the magical doppelganger assassins that threaten to start an all out mob war between New York s notorious crime families And can she stop it before she ends up sleeping with the fishes tooDoppelgangs Solid genre bookWorld The world buiding is solid nothing creative here and pretty much all the pieces here can be found in another book in the urban fantasty genre That being said it was still fun the gangster angle was kinda stereotypical fun of the genre The expansion of the cast of characters is also funStory Solid for the genre pacing was solid and the banter and situations was pleaseing There is nothing much to say about the book it s a mob themed books With Supernatural Pieces Esther supernatural pieces Esther a fun character and the rest of the cast makes *IT A FUN READ CHARACTERS ESTHER *a fun read Characters Esther solid she s not entirely original ust like all the characters but Resnick is good with dialog and the banter between the characters this time around was sun There were a lot of Italian stereotypes which made me rll my eyes in a fun way SolidA solid entry a good Black Heart, Red Ruby junk food bookOnward to the next book When I first saw the cover of Doppleganster I was intrigued I uickly learned I d be circumnavigating the world Laura Resnick created without the context of book one to walk me through Preceding Dopplegangster the first book in the Esther Diamond series Disappearing Nightly which at the time was published by Luna unfortunately disappeared almost overnight likely because back in 2005 the publisher didn t know what to do with it and it was soon out of printIt appears that DAW recognized the potential and bought the second and third books in the series released them and is going rescue and reprint Disappearing Nightly and finally give it the home it originally deserved I highly recommend buying Dopplegangster and the new Sympathetic Magic Hopefully good sales will influence DAW a Penguin Imprint to get busy and publish book oneEvidently in book one Esther became friends with Max a 350 year old wizard who looks a youthful 70 and who with her help defeated a bad wizard and they killed his evil assistant Hieronymus something that had to be done but weighs on Esther s mind and something she can never tell her hopefully soon to be cop boyfriend ConnorEsther s life never goes to plan and she always ends up a mess looking like a mess or trying to getherself out of one It is almost a Lucille Ball kind of slapstick She stumbles from one zany crazy silly hilarious mix up to another She s like a pinball stuck in a game being bashed around from one side to the other Esther isust trying to find her way to that acting gig that will break her into the big time trying to find some romantic time with the guy of her dreams while being flung from one part of town to another trying to solve the mystery and stay aliveWhat is so fresh and wonderful about the Esther Diamond series is Esther is the ANTITHESIS of what has become the norm in Urban Fantasy The biggest weapons she carries are her four inch high heels She doesn t know how to fight There is no mystery about her parentage other than how does her Mother always know to call when there is bad news She has no magical skills That s rightnone She isn t going to become some magical ueen she doesn t go around bossing everyone around because the whole world depends on her
Nobody Seems To Depend Onseems to depend on she s ust trying to survive on her own and maybe keep her boyfriend alive from the things he doesn t know about that go bump in the nightDopplegangster again this is book two starts with Stella losing her acting gig The play she was in Sorcerer is canceled Being a struggling actress in New York is no oke She is damn glad to be rehired at her old waitressing New Plant Parent: Learn the Ways of Plant Parenthood job even if it is as a singing server at Bella Stella s a known and notorious Mob HangoutUnfortunately her on again off again. While waiting tables in Little Italy actress Esther Diamond realizes some magical. Cop boyfriend Joe Morellioops I mean Connor Lopez a gorgeous hunk of Cuban and Scotch Irish parentage doesn t agree and thinks it is a dangerous place for her to work He might have a point given the fact that there have been two mob hits there in the last five years and the owner Stella launders money for the MobTo make matters worse Lopez hasust been promoted to the OCCB task force organized Crime Control Bureau and his Dreaming Me: An African-American Woman's Buddhist Journey job is to crack down on organized crime Chubby Charlie one of her Mafioso regulars and Esther both see an exact walking talking double of Chubby Charlie and then he is shot at his table from an impossible angle This doesn t help Lopez s employment prospects as everyone thinks Esther had to have seen the murderer and is covering She finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and on the cover of a New York Tabloid publication looking like a mob girlfriend in the middle of a mob war In a very short period wise guys begin dropping like fliesust after they see their exact double the cops want Esther brought in for uestioning and chaos ensuesThe cops and the mob both think she knows than she does The only real people Esther can count on are Max the Sorcerer with his trusty if slobbery familiar Nelli a Wizardly familiar in the body of a massive hound from another plane of existence and Lucky a retired assassin wise guy who knows the truth and surprisingly accepts it uite easilyThe scenes with Lucky are great He s the kind of guy where if it was his ob and he had to do it he d kill you but otherwise if he likes youhe s gonna keep an eye out and try to help you out And he likes Esther Even though his concern is paternal it is infuriating to Lopez who cannot understand why Esther is hanging out with a mobster if she is innocent as she claimsConnor can only protect her so much he can tell she s lying and various factions of the mafia are beginning to think Esther might be better off sleeping with the fishes Connor also knows Max is hiding something and thinks he is a bad influence on Esther and he is incensed she is hanging out with retired mob enforcer LuckyEsther ust wants her agent to return her calls with news of a great acting ЯED job and to have sex with her boyfriend Given the situations she finds herself in none of these things seems likely to happen any time soonThe one liners are hilarious the side characters are incredibly nuanced and fleshed out the heroine is hyper smart and hilarious and the hero is beleaguered The book is much like Esther an oddball mix Part urban fantasy part mystery part screwball comedy harkening back to Katherine Hepburn and Carey Grant It is a fun ride from start to finish Iust bought the third book Sympathetic Magic and I hope Esther and Lopez sort out their differences and get a HEA or at least get a chance to work off some of that sexual frustration Given all that they ve been through together they deserve it See my full thoughts here s a scene in Doppelgangster where the protagonist beats an evil sorcerer with a dead chicken That says ust about everything I thinkThis book is cheesy and stupid but it very clearly understands that and is ust having fun with it There are some serious aspects to the plot but most of it is The Lost Art of Reading Natures Signs ju This is the second book in the Esther Diamond series It s an improvement over the last book though there are some indications the series might fall into some tropes I dislikeIn the previous book Esther a struggling stage actress found out that magic exists and stopped a sorcerer who wanted to sacrifice leading ladies to a powerful demon In this book her familiarity with magic serves her well as it s the only explanation for the bizarre deaths taking place at her dayob at an Italian restaurant People with mod connections are seeing perfect doubles of themselves and then dying within hours A hit man asks Esther for help finding the killer Meanwhile Detective Lopez has been moved to the department that investigates the Mafia and he d very much like for Esther to stay out of it before his conflict of interest gets them both in troubleThe title probably would ve been funnier if it hadn t been adopted as the name for what s killing mobsters and repeated throughout the text Still it s apt and eye catching enough to *make someone want to pick this up if it s the sort of *someone want to pick this up if it s the sort of they d likeThis book never pretends to be anything it isn t It s silly fluffy urban fantasy and Esther well knows how ridiculous it sounds In case she forgets other characters are than willing to laugh or disbelieve That made me feel this book is grounded in reality than most urban fantasy despite its humor trappingsThere were times though when it seemed the humor might rely on the absurdity a little too much I worried future books might start to string together wacky hijinks for lack of any better ideas It gave me flashbacks to the Stephanie Plum series which I ve give up onFor now though I do plan to read the next book We ll see if it lays the above fears to rest and continues to give me the fun melding of murder mystery and magic that I enjoy in these books I also hope we see Detective Lopez Not because I particularly like him but I like how Esther plays off him Esther Diamond is between acting Moreno jobs To make ends meet she takes aob waiting tables at Bella Stella Connor Lopez the cop who may
may not be Esther boyfriend is concerned because Bella Stella is freuented by the Gambello crime family but hey a girl s gotta make a livingBefore long though Esther lands in deep trouble One of Bella Stella s regulars Chubby Charlie sees a perfect double of himself and then is murdered right in front of her SheOr May Not Be Esther
S Traumatized By The Event The Tabloids Are Painting Hertraumatized by the event the tabloids are painting her mob connected Lopez doesn t believe her version of events and she s starting to suspect that Charlie s double was created by magic When other doubles start popping up followed by murders it s up to Esther to find the killer with the help of Max her centuries old wizard friend Lucky an aging wiseguy and Max s new familiar Nelli who may be a mystical creature but seems like an ordinary slobbering Canis familiarisWhat follows is a twisty well executed mystery plot laced with plenty of humor Laura Resnick touches on some serious themes from time to time these are gangsters not Boy Scouts after all but Doppelgangster never gets too heavy or depressing In. Mischief is going on when a rash of doubles dopplegangsters starts to appear thr.