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The Sour Cherry Surprise: A Berger and Mitry Mystery (Berger and Mitry Mysteries) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 251 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The sixth entry in Handler’s Berger and Mitry Mystery Series adds personal uncertainty to the traditional crime and intrigue we have come to expect. The odd couple have decided to go separate ways. The black, extremely fit Connecticut state trooper Des Mitry has unexpectedly begun living with her ex-husband, Brandon. The “dough-boy,” widowed, Jewish film critic Mitch Berger, has gone back to New York, where his career is really beginning to take off. Their friends know that they’re both miserable. Meanwhile, crime is on the rise in the village of Dorset, Connecticut. A major drug cartel is now doing business in town, and a distinguished professor is found murdered. Are the crimes related? Will Mitch come back from New York to save his former lover? Will our sleuths get back together before it’s too late? Earlier books in the series featured plotlines more taut than this one, but we do really care about these characters. Handler has fun with their relationship, and we happily go along for the ride, though his signature over-the-top finales are wearing thin. --Judy Coon

About the Author

David Handler has written six novels featuring the mismatched crime-fighting duo of Mitch Berger and Des Mitry. His first, The Cold Blue Blood, was a Dilys Award finalist and a BookSense Top Ten pick. He is also the author of eight novels about the witty and dapper celebrity ghostwriter Stewart Hoag and his faithful, neurotic basset hound, Lulu, including the Edgar and American Mystery Award--winning The Man Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald.  David lives in a two-hundred-year-old carriage house in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Product Details

  • File Size: 484 KB
  • Print Length: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (July 8, 2008)
  • Publication Date: July 8, 2008
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003L1ZZH8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,492 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

These days, I live in a 200-year-old carriage house in a quaint, ultra-WASPY little historic New England village. Not surprisingly, I've taken to writing a series of nine (and counting) retro-cozy murder mysteries set in a quaint, ultra-WASPY little historic New England village. I call it Dorset. It's a place where everyone knows everything about everyone ' or at least they think they do. Trust me, they don't. Dorset is a place full of secrets, many of them deadly. That's where my deliciously mismatched heroes come in, both of them strangers in a very strange land. Mitch Berger, a pudgy Jewish widower, is the lead film critic for the most prestigious and therefore lowest paying of New York's three daily newspapers. Desiree Mitry is an alluring beautiful Connecticut State Trooper who happens to be black, a gifted artist and strangely drawn to Mitch. Under normal circumstances, these are two people whose paths would never cross. But absolutely nothing about Dorset is normal.

I started the series in 2001 with "The Cold Blue Blood," which was nominated for a Dilys Award. I'm happy to report that my eighth Berger-Mitry, "The Blood Red Indian Summer," made the bestseller lists in 2011. My newest, "The Snow White Christmas Cookie," will be published in October of 2012. You absolutely don't have to read the Berger-Mitry books in order, but you'll find it a kick to follow the unfolding romance if you do. Personally, I've found them to be a real treat. I get a chance to dissect the village and the people where I actually live. Absolutely everyone in town reads them. And I have fun bringing my own subversive contemporary edge to the classic old-school village murder mystery. The books feel real fresh to me. I hope you like them.

The Berger-Mitrys are my second crime series. My first foray, which you may remember, featured the dapper celebrity ghostwriter Stewart 'Hoagy' Hoag and his faithful, neurotic basset hound Lulu. I wrote eight novels about Hoagy, a fallen literary wunderkind turned pen for hire who travels the underbelly of show business helping famous stars tell their life stories, secrets and all. Generally, there are plenty of people who wanted those secrets to stay safely buried. Generally, our jaded hero knows how to dig them out. My first Hoagy, "The Man Who Died Laughing," was nominated for an Anthony Award. My best known in the series, "The Man Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald," won an Edgar and an American Mystery Award. Thanks to the good folks at and Open Road Media all eight of my Hoagy novels are now available on Kindle. Check 'em out. You'll never find another wise-cracking hero quite like Hoagy.

I'm happy to report that I'll be launching yet another series in the summer of 2013 featuring the feisty 137-pound New York City private eye Benji Golden. Benji specializes in finding missing teenagers. The first novel in the series is called "Runaway Man." I'm really excited about it.

Do you like political thrillers? If so, I took some time off between series a few years back to co-author an international bestselling page-turner called Gideon under the name Russell Andrews. I promise you it'll knock your socks off.

I've also taken the time to write some short fiction. Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine has published several of my short stories since 2001. Two have been included in anthologies ' Opening Shots Volume Two , edited by Lawrence Block, and A Hot and Sultry Night for Crime , edited by Jeffrey Deaver.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so disappointed when I read that Mitch and Desi broke up. I couldn't believe that David Handler broke up the best I really couldn't wait to get my hands on this book to read why they broke up. Because at the end of the last book Brandon walked back into Desi's life after she had accepted Mitch's marriage proposal.
Well in this book, an explanantion is given about the break up...what follows next is a great ride to find out who is upsetting the tenants on Sour Cherry Lane. This was a great book very well written.

We meet new characters and some of our favorites characters are back...Bella the cranky jewish woman...she is a riot in this story as always. Also back are Lt. Rico Soave Tedone and Yolie Snipes.

There are some fabulous new characters as well Molly (9), Richard and Carolyn Procter Molly's parents, Clay Mundy and Hector Villanueva, Patricia Beckwith the land lord for Cherry Lane and her tenants plus her daughter in law and her grand daughter.

The citizens of Dorset are giving Des the cold shoulder because she broke Mitch's heart and Mitch has decided to move back to NY where he is extremely busy with his new endeavors. His agent Lacey is still around...

I loved the book and I can't wait for the next installment. Thanks
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start off by saying that I love the Berger/Mitry series. That being said, there was something about this book that just had the ring of a "rush job". This wasn't Handler's best effort. Compared to the other stories, I didn't feel the characters or the storyline were developed or fleshed out well. Unlike some other reviewers, I didn't feel the breakup was resolved at ALL. What did Des say to Mitch when she dumped him in the first place? How did she turn off her emotions to Brandon like a faucet? I know she was trying to convince herself that she was still in love with Brandon, but it just didn't ring true. Both she and Mitch pulled a couple of 180's and I felt short-changed as a reader of the series. Something was just "off" about this story that prevents me from giving it a higher rating. I hope Handler turns it around in the next book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The latest Berger and Mitry novel begins roughly three months or so where the last one left off. Mitch and Desiree, one of my favorite mismatched couples, are no longer a couple and Mitch is no longer a resident in Dorset, MA. This installment is mostly about the mysterious murder in Dorset and how the two lovers are coping without each other.

I primarily read this series for the interaction between Des and Mitch. Their relationship was the initial draw for me and that is what keeps me coming back. Usually the mystery fades into the background. It is just a backdrop for the evolution of their relationship. That was not the case with this book.

Since Des and Mitch are estranged during most of the book, the mystery was more front and center for me. It was interesting trying to figure out who murdered who and what were their motivations. The mystery component was more compelling in this book than in previous works. That may be because I wasn't distracted by the interaction between Des and Mitch.

Although Des and Mitch have about two actual conversations together in the entire book, the author was great at guiding the reader through their respective feelings about their separation. I could feel Desiree's confusion (even though I thought she was crazy) and Mitch's determination to move on with his life. Although their estrangement lasted almost the entire book, the last ten pages or so, made it worth the wait.

"The Sour Cherry Surprise" still retained the quirky humor and charm that is the hallmark of this series, although it was painful in certain parts. It was difficult to rate this book. I think it should rate a 3 1/2 stars. It was better than okay, but not quite up to the normal Des and Mitch standard.
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Format: Hardcover
After feeling somewhat disappointed with how David Handler treated faithful readers in his previous installment of the Berger-Mitry series I anxiously awaited amends in 'The Sour Cherry Surprise.' As usual, Mr. Handler delivers not only an excellent and enjoyable story consistent with the rest of this series but also strings the reader along in the Mitch & Des relationship storyline in a fair and entertaining way. Last night I finished this book and I am already looking forward to the next installment of the goings-on in li'l ol' Dorset where nothing and nobody is every what it seems. These stories are great reading for entertainment, the whodunit mystery and the occasional twist of phrase generating laugh out loud humor.
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Format: Hardcover
Things aren't peaceful like usual on Sour Cherry Lane. A well-behaved high school student throws a wild sex party, a distinguished history professor goes missing, and his estranged wife is strung out on crystal meth. Desiree Mitry, the resident trooper of Dorset, Connecticut, doesn't what to think of all these occurrences at first. Then she finds out that the new boyfriend of the wife on meth is under surveillance by a joint federal and state drug task force.

Plus Des has been fainting and under a lot of stress at work. Plus she recently broke up with New York film critic Mitch Berger and got back with her former husband.

With the discovery that a major drug cartel has been operating under her nose, Des sets out to protect and serve the citizens who she knows and cares about. But can she do that without destroying the work of the task force or putting herself or others in further danger?

This is the first book in this series that I've read. I really liked Des and other residents in town. The small town set in Connecticut was a great setting as well. I liked getting to know Mitch as well. It has piqued my interest to want to read others in this series.

The author did a great job of creating many interlocking stories and unraveling the pieces one by one. This is a fairly quick read as well. I highly recommend this book.
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