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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best of the series so far, but read the previous ones
Perhaps the cleverest Sam Jones novel to date. This novel is filled with delicious witticisms ranging from literature to sex. A combination of "chick-lit" (not to be confused with the gum) and mystery genres, it transcends the boundaries of both to become a novel without genre limitations. It is witty, suspenseful and great fun to read. Like most series novels, a good...
Published on April 9, 2002 by Charles Schwager

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sam Rattles A Few Chains
Take-no-prisoners Sam Jones, sculptress and sleuth returns in her latest misadventure, Chained. Sam is not your average heroine, giving as good as she gets, whether it is with prima donna boyfriend Hugo or miscreant, low-life animal rights kidnappers. A sassy, tough, riot-grrl for the art set, she tends to wander straight into whatever crime might be happening in her...
Published on March 1, 2002 by Reedekullervo


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best of the series so far, but read the previous ones, April 9, 2002
By 
This review is from: Chained: A Sam Jones Novel (Paperback)
Perhaps the cleverest Sam Jones novel to date. This novel is filled with delicious witticisms ranging from literature to sex. A combination of "chick-lit" (not to be confused with the gum) and mystery genres, it transcends the boundaries of both to become a novel without genre limitations. It is witty, suspenseful and great fun to read. Like most series novels, a good understanding of the history of the characters helps to tip the enjoyment upseveral notches. Sam Jones is a modern female who loves sex with the proper stranger, drugs with anyone and has a hangover most mornings. But as she is a sculptor working in metal mobiles (at least for the moment) she has the luxury of staying in bed till noon. This lack of morning initiative in no way prevents her from finding dead bodies during the balance of the 14 hour day, nor does it prevent her from getting into messes that threaten her death and cause significant bodily injury. If you like `em tough, you'll love Sam
The novel opens with a prologue in which Sam is chained to a pair of handcuffs in a dank cellar. Her head aches and she has no idea how she has come to be in this place. Slowly it dawns on her that she has been kidnapped but she cannot figure out why.
Henderson makes the reader work to put all the pieces together, especially as chapters open with little seeming relevance to the end of the preceding chapter - an approach that trusts the reader to pay attention. All is explained eventually, but the reader needs to read closely and trust the novelist. This type of exposition is one of the marks of great literature and it is a pleasure to see genre writers moving toward mainstream literary techniques.
Chained introduces us to the world of TV production and animal rights. Much of the novel takes place on the set of a TV production starring Sam's new beau, Hugo. Hugo's co-star, Sarah, has given reporters a field day by drunkenly defending wearing a fur coat. The animal rights groups are furious and she is inundated with threatening letters. When a dead fox is nailed in her trailer dressing room toilet, the threats to her life become more real.
Sarah is beautiful and a good actor but is not one of those who has the need to have an affair with her leading man, so Sam's jealousy of women near Hugo remains low. That she feels jealousy at all is a new emotion for her and it scares her a bit...
...
So much of the charm of Henderson's novels is the sly placement of literary allusions. For example: "The highly particular smell of damp unwashed armpit penetrating through seismic layers of its own previous dried-off secretions had brought memories flooding back to whatever parts of my brain were still reasonably intact. Not quite Proust's madeleine, but when you were chained to the ceiling of a cellar with no chocolate in sight, you took whatever moments of distraction you could grab."
Henderson is an intellectual whose learning lies lightly on her shoulders and gives the reader a smile of recognition without pushing things too far. So the reader gets sex, drugs and murder through a literary sensibility that gives the whole series its particular flavor of the sweet, the bitter and 180 proof.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sam Rattles A Few Chains, March 1, 2002
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This review is from: Chained: A Sam Jones Novel (Paperback)
Take-no-prisoners Sam Jones, sculptress and sleuth returns in her latest misadventure, Chained. Sam is not your average heroine, giving as good as she gets, whether it is with prima donna boyfriend Hugo or miscreant, low-life animal rights kidnappers. A sassy, tough, riot-grrl for the art set, she tends to wander straight into whatever crime might be happening in her vicinity. Usually it's murder. Relying more on her determined attitude and luck than any great intellectual or problem-solving skills, nevertheless her adventures are usually hilarious, spiced up with views of the seamier side of the art/theater world.
This time Sam is working in a tv production with her boyfriend Hugo. When she is mistakenly kidnapped for an actress on the set who she happens to resemble the plot swings into motion. Unfortunately for the would-be kidnappers, they didn't realize just what they were getting into. Sam, determined to free herself and figure out just what is going on, drags the reader into the close-knit world of hunt sabbetours and tv productions. Along the way Henderson fills in with a realistically drawn cast and crew. It would have been easy for her to make the secondary characters little more than carictures, but she manages to make them interesting without being teeth-achingly quirky. Although perhaps the percentage of vegans and animal rights activists is slighly high. A throw away murder and an, "Oh, *he's* the villian!" feeling at the end mar the story but it still is an enjoyable read.
A word of caution, however. Fans of tradional mysteries where the author sprinkles abundant clues throughout and challenges the reader's puzzle-solving skills will be disappointed. As will those hoping for a lap dog of the British cozy variety. The Sam Jones mysteries are more than a little like a pit bull, stalking through the back alleys of London's seedier streets. They are less concerned with a tightly executed plotlines or clever clues than they are about chronicling the sassy and independent Sam, who drinks, drugs and copulates copiously. Despite her party-hard lifestyle, Sam is a genuinely interesting character, not without flaws, but also not without her redeeming virtues. If girls with attitude appeal to you, you won't want to miss Chained or any of the other Sam Jones mysteries(Black Rubber Dress, Freeze My Margerita, The Strawberry Tattoo).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All trussed up and noplace to go!, February 1, 2002
This review is from: Chained: A Sam Jones Novel (Paperback)
How many women, waking up handcuffed and chained to a beam in a basement, with a splitting headache, would initially pass the whole thing off as a hangover and a sexy date gone "slightly awry"? Only Sam Jones, England's favorite "crime girl behaving badly". This series is not for everyone, particularly the prudish, but for those of us who enjoy mystery, suspense, witty dialogue, and just a hint of raciness, it's quite enjoyable. Often the underlying mystery is merely a backdrop to Sam's trials and tribulations, and those of her friends and acquaintances. The stories are written with humor in mind, and should be taken that way. The main problem with Sam Jones is that, everytime she's around, bad things seem to happen, and people die. It's not her fault but, given her track record, the only fellow who would be likely to take her home to meet his mother would be Norman Bates!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent, May 24, 2002
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This review is from: Chained: A Sam Jones Novel (Paperback)
Chained is not my favorite of the Sam Jones novels. This book was again centered on a mystery of sorts and drama (in all forms), but the "kick [backside]" detective girl was just slightly off (and no mantra to the mini skirt - which is a key Jones symbol). It could be that she has a steady man, or that she was written to be less aggressive, but whatever the reason it makes her less of a hero and more of a normal character. I liked Sam as the [bootie] kick action hero type. I also found the "chained" part of the story a bit too dark. Over all a good read - but not the best one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery With A Healthy Dose of Humour, March 26, 2002
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Untouchable (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Chained: A Sam Jones Novel (Paperback)
Sam Jones is a tough, no nonsense, take charge woman, so when she wakes up to find that she is tethered by a chain in a cellar, it doesn't faze her in the slightest. Once she figures out how she got there, she focuses her attention on working on a way to get out.
This is an oftentimes light-hearted mystery that revolves around Sam's kidnapping, escape and her attempts to work out who the perpetrators were. Many of the scenes are on the set of a television drama that is in the process of being filmed and is where Sam is working as a stand-in for the leading lady. The characters encountered on set provide many amusing moments as the actors' egos duke it out, trying to maintain their superiority over the hired help.
My favourite scene, and one that I can easily relate to, occurs when Sam and her friend, Tom, venture into an Ikea store with a great deal of trepidation. Their fear of venturing of the marked paths and becoming lost forever, and indignation that the store doesn't contain a bar (and their means of remedying the situation) had me in stitches.
This is a very enjoyable book that is just right for anyone who prefers their female protagonists to be strong, fearless and capable, yet feminine to the core. It's also ideal for anyone who enjoys their mysteries to be sprinkled with a healthy dose of humour.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth finishing -- or even starting, June 22, 2008
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Lois Lain (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Chained: A Sam Jones Novel (Paperback)
This book was so "not me" that I quit reading after five pages. I couldn't figure out what was happening, who was who, or why I should care. And the language was so foul I couldn't stand it. Read at your own risk!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chained : A Novel, June 9, 2005
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This review is from: Chained: A Sam Jones Novel (Paperback)
Sexy and a bit naughty -- you will love this book!
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Chained: A Sam Jones Novel
Chained: A Sam Jones Novel by Lauren Henderson (Paperback - January 15, 2002)
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