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on July 5, 2005
When I purchased this book, I thought it would be similar to the Stephanie Plum series - in fact, I think that's why this book was recommended to me. However, I wasn't expecting it to be close enough to Janet Evanovich's series that it borders on unoriginal rip-off. But, that's what this is - a rip-off.

The parallels between the Plum series and this book are too many to count, but to name few:

1) Both leads work on the fringes of law enforcement (bounty hunter v. private investigator).
2) Both leads have sexy foreign "helpers" who send mixed romantic signals.
3) Both leads have a penchant for stumbling into gun fights or other dangerous situations.
4) Both leads have eccentric families and mothers who think they don't eat enough.
5) Both leads, at one time or another, live in an apartment building with a cast of wacky characters that add color to the story.
6) Both leads have a cheating husband (soon-to-be husband in Sofie's case) in their pasts.

And these are just a few of them - if only a couple of similiarities existed, SOFIE METROPOLIS would just be reminiscent of ONE FOR THE MONEY (and others). Instead, the author has decided that just changing minor details of the store is enough to keep readers interested. The author even has Sofie reading an Evanovich book in the story! Come on!

Now, to the rating - I'm giving it 3 stars. I happen to like the Plum series, so I'm not surprised that this book was recommended for me. And since I've made my way through 10 or so of those books, I obviously have some dedication to the genre. I found SOFIE METROPOLIS generally enjoyable - once I discovered that this book could have just as easily been titled Stephanie Plum Goes Greek or Beta for the Baklava, I stopped getting as distracted by the similarities and could get into the story.

Bottom line - not the worst thing I've read, but nowhere near the best. If you're looking for a fresh perspective on the comic female investigator genre, look elsewhere. If you're biding your time until the next in the Plum series is available, this isn't a bad choice.
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on August 10, 2005
Where to start with the similarities? Stephanie caught her hubby with his pants down "in flagrante" on the kitchen table, Sofie caught her fiance in the church w/the maid of honor. Stephanie has a mysterious Cuban (?) hunk who shows up at odd moments, Sofie has a mysterious Australian hunk who shows up at odd moments. Stephanie has a wacky family featuring a short, wacky grandma, Sofie has a wacky family featuring a short, wacky grandpa. And on and on.

Is it enjoyable? Only if you haven't read any of the Evanovich series and haven't seen the Wedding movie. Otherwise, you'll be wondering why no one has sued for plagarism.
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on January 7, 2007
I was delighted to find this book, being a transplanted Australian of Greek extraction. A Greek female private eye in New York!

What a concept!

What a disappointing result!

I adored the Astonia references and these are the book's saving graces. Sofie's "Greekness" tickled me, but not sure how non-Greeks will respond. However, I was sick of Sofie's ex-groom 'Thomas the Toad' the first time I heard about him banging the bridesmaid on their wedding day.

By the one hundredth time we heard about the incident - repeated verbatim - on page ten, I was skipping pages to get to some action.

There is precious little of it here, despite the cool set-up and in spite of the fact that Sofie is a blatant rip-off from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum character. So much so, that if I were Evanovich, I would sue.

There is the crazy bounty hunting/PI job with the same wise-cracking secretary, the mysterious boss who's never around, weird dog karma, tall, brooding foreign bounty guy with a dubious past, insane granny and the fact that Sofie goes home to her folks for dinner - endlessly - just like Stephanie.

But two things really bug me: The total lack of action and pages of Sofie's over-active hormones going over the same stuff again and again. Where was this book's editor?

What REALLY bugs me is the character of Jake, supposedly an Australian bounty hunter. Not only does everything he does come off as ridiculous, but Jake? Come on! People, as an Australian, I can tell you for a fact that you will never find a man from my country that is named Jake, Biff, Tad, Buck, Bo - and did I mention, Jake?

I got the second Sofie book from the library on the same day and gave it a chance because everybody said it's a whole lot better than the first. More on that later...
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on April 10, 2006
Like the other reviewers, the first thing I noticed about this book were the uncanny parallels to Stephanie Plum. Janet Evanovich must be very flattered--it's the only reason I can think of that she hasn't sued the authors. Then I tried to enjoy the book by pretending I had not read Stephanie first--and I still didn't like it.

The challenge of writing in the first person is that you have to move the action along while narrating it. Sophie Metropolis never shuts up long enough to get anywhere. The book is essentially a long monologue about her Greek family, Greek food, her sexual urges and her cheating ex-fiance. She is supposed to be a private eye, but she spends very little time actually investigating anything. Most of the time she is talking, talking, talking about her favorite subject--Sophie Metropolis. Even when she does begin to actually do something, like make a move on Jake Porter--the Australian version of Ranger--she interupts herself with another digression. The fiance cheating in the church five minutes before the wedding got tired, too. One telling establishes how she became a private eye, abandoning a stellar career as a waitress. By the third or four repeat, I must admit I sided with Thomas the Toad. He probably found someone who shut up now and then.

This could have been a cute spoof. I mean, how many PI's investigate the neighborhood vampire? But each incident leads to another detour. In the end, I just got lost and gave up. I can't believe this writing team got a contract for a second book in this series. One Sophie Metropolils is too many.
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on June 8, 2006
I bought this book looking for lighthearted and entertaining escapism. What I got was not at all what I'd hoped for. I loved "Greek Wedding" and previous reviews had mentioned humor, so I figured it was worth a try. The Greek in this novel was heavy-handed and "in your face" and I was still looking for laughs on the last page. The characters were okay, I suppose, but one can only care about the creepy almost-husband and his infidelities for so long befoer the story of his misbehavior becomes tiresome. Sophie talked about herself more than she concerned herself with solving the mystery at hand, and she just wasn't interesting enough to maintain momentum of the novel for 280 pages. The only one laughing out loud here is the author. If you're looking for laughs, I suggest you try Sarah Strohmeyer's "Bubbles Yablonsky" series. She's a funny character with a fun story to tell.
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on April 2, 2013
My husband read a newer Sofie book first and we both agree that this book was a bit disjointed and Sofie is slightly ditzy. The book is a little "wordy". But, since this is the first book in the series, I'll try a later one too.
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on July 31, 2005
This book had great potential, but seemed to sink about halfway through the story. The story is about Sofie Metropolis, a Greek girl who has gone against the family restaurant business and entered into private investigations. In this story, she's on the trail of a cheating wife, a missing dog, and a potential murder. I didn't like Sofie as a character - she wasn't funny, or smart, or pretty, and seemed to lust after someone for no apparent reason. Her familial background, and descriptions of foods are probably what kept me reading as long as I did. I made it 75% of the way through the book before deciding that I just didn't care about Sofie or her exploits. You can tell, without a doubt, that 2 different authors are writing this book (which they admit to), because the writing doesn't 'flow' from chapter to chapter. Very unimpressed - the book was sort of a Big Fat Greek Wedding takeoff, but not even close to as funny or charming. Read at your own risk.
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on June 20, 2012
When Sofie Metropolis found her groom canoodling with her maid of honor on their wedding day (in the church, no less!) she left on her honeymoon WITHOUT him and never looked back. Now, she's returned home and established herself in the small apartment building that was her parents' wedding gift and where she's stashed all her unreturned wedding gifts. Sofie refuses to return to her father's restaurant as a waitress and instead takes on the unlikely job of private investigator for her uncle's PI firm. Sofie expected excitement in her new job but she never imagined the things that she'd be up against: missing dogs, cheating spouses, deadly shoot-outs and vampire hunts are all thrown at her at once. Can Sofie (with a little bit of help from a hunky bounty hunter) solve all the mysteries and maybe find a little healing for her heart at the same time?

I unfortunately did not read the reviews of this book before I dove into it, so I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that it might as well be a Greek version of the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. I must say, however, that once I got past that annoying aspect of the book, I did still enjoy it because it has just enough of its own unique quirks (like the Greek culture and humor) to make it an entertaining read. I can understand why many reviewers disliked it because of this similarity, however. It's very hard to get past, especially since many of the characters just seem to have been plucked out of the Plum novels, given slight makeovers and relocated into this book. If you don't mind that aspect, though (or if you just want an acceptable stand-in while you wait for the next Plum novel to be released!), I'd still recommend the book because it did keep me laughing and interested until the end.
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on April 23, 2008
As many other people have mentioned, the duplication of characters, relationships, actions, and situations are incredibly glaring. And it just gets more obvious with the second and third books in the series.

If you like the Stephanie Plum series you might vaguely enjoy this as a weak filler while you wait for the next Evanovich novel. I, however just got distracted because the Plum parallels keep coming up to slap you and give you a sense of deja vu.

These characters aren't very strong and neither is the plot. There are quite a few loose ends which I suppose are left dangling purposely so they can be woven into future books. Just for the heck of it I read up to the third book and they're still dangling.

Read this if you need a quick fix while you wait for the next Stephanie Plum novel, but don't expect too much. The best thing about this book are the recipes in the back.
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on April 28, 2006
At first when I read this book I thought that Janet Evanovich had written it under another name because it was a Greek version of Stephanie Plum. But as I continued reading, I found that the authors had not achieved the laugh-out-loud quality that is so prevalent in Ms. Evanovich's books. The characters were vague and poorly drawn; I didn't find any of them particularly likeable, not even Sophie Metropolis, who seemed like a whiner to me. Still, I probably would have enjoyed the book more if it hadn't seemed like such a rip-off of the Plum books.

As another reviewer said, I will not pay to read the second book in the series.
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