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Double Booked for Death (A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – December 6, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A fun mystery that kept me guessing to the end!”—Rebecca M. Hale, New York Times bestselling author of the Cats and Curios Mysteries


“An engaging new series…most definitely the start of something great.”—Sandra Balzo, award-winning author of the Maggy Thorsen and Main Street Mysteries
 
“A charming, cozy read.”—Elaine Viets, author of the Dead-End Job Mysteries

About the Author

Ali Brandon is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime, including Literally Murder and Words with Fiends. Writing under her real name, Diane A.S. Stuckart, she penned the popular Leonardo da Vinci historical mystery series, which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, as well as a Florida Book Award. A native Texan with a degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, Diane a/k/a Ali now lives in South Florida. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and the Cat Writers Association, as well as caretaker to three spoiled felines.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425244970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425244975
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Debbie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 20, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Double Booked for Death" is a cozy mystery. I suspect other people may find the characters engaging, but I found that their (unexpected) excessive use of bad language and Darla's habit of worrying about everything prevented me from really bonding with them.

The cat is just a cat--possibly a smart one, but possibly just a bad-tempered and naughty one. At the end, I concluded that the cat wasn't as smart as I'd thought he was and so he lost some of his charm for me, but Darla concluded the cat was smarter than she'd thought. I suspect I missed the significance of the books he chose to be naughty with (beyond the obvious that they were crime-related).

There weren't really enough real clues to guess whodunit until near the end of the book. Even when it was obvious, I keep expecting another twist because I didn't really understand whodunit's motive even though it was explained. Again, I was left feeling like I missed something.

Despite that, the book was enjoyable. There was some nice detail woven in about the book-selling business. The suspense was created by several strange and creepy happenings. There was a fair amount of explicit cussing and swearing as well as some fake bad words. There were no sex scenes.

After thinking it over a while, I decided part of the reason I was left feeling vaguely dissatisfied with this story was that Darla (and cat and and friends) don't solve the case. They don't know whodunit until the big confession scene, and the case would have been solved even if they did nothing throughout the story.

I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
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This is a real can't-put-it-down book, as all good mystery books should be. The plot is strong and exciting throughout, while at the same time there are intriguing mini-plots that further draw you into the total picture. Each of the characters is alive with personality and quirks, so you feel that you really see and know them - most of whom are quite lovable, from bright and chipper young Callie to terminally stuffy Professor James T. James. The antics of black-caped hyper-excited teenage fans showing up for the celebrity book-signing was a hoot.

Ali Brandon is a pen name for Diane A.S. Stuckart, who wrote the wonderful Leonardo Da Vinci mysteries, and she has come through with flying colors in her first Black Cat Bookshop mystery.
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This was a very interesting novel which introduced us to Darla Pettistone, her inherited cat, Hamlet and tenant, Jake. Darla inherits her Great-Aunt Dee's brownstone in Brooklyn, so packs up her belongings and moves from Texas.

The brownstone is not just a home and garden apartment (Jake's abode,) but also a stylish bookstore. Darla is excited to host a popular author of a ghost series. As over five hundred teenaged fans line the sidewalks attired in black cloaks and red lipstick, Darla senses trouble. She is not wrong.

The Author goes on a smoke break and gets hit by a van of a church group set on protesting her books. Was it murder, an accident or is there more than is quickly evident?

This book has many layers of complexity and interest. I found the novel held my attention and am interested to see how the characters develop. A good debut.
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By A Customer on December 6, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Brooklyn with the death of her Aunt Dee, Darla Pettistone inherits Pettistone's Fine Books and Hamlet the cat. Darla knows she has a lot to prove to herself, to the neighborhood (and beyond) and mostly to that darn cat whose air of superiority bothers her now owner almost as much as the feline appears to have a higher IQ than she has.

She feels good about her first major event since taking over Pettistone's. Best-selling YA author Valerie Baylor will stop at Pettistone on her tour promoting her third bestselling Haunted High paranormal series. Darla anticipates five hundred or more teen girls attending the signing. She knows the gala has some problems from a person accusing the author of plagiarism and from a fundamentalist church thinking of picketing the bookstore. Those are minor to when Baylor arrives as she dies just outside the shop in what the police declare is a tragic accident. Hamlet the wise thinks otherwise and finds clues that propel Darla and her tenant former cop Jacqueline "Jake" Martelli, to investigate a homicide.

The first A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery is an entertaining whodunit starring a brilliant feline (who does not speak in human tongues), a beleaguered new store owner and an ex cop. The story line is fast-paced as Hamlet uncovers the clues that the two females working the case follow up on. Having an ex cop somewhat mitigates the amateur sleuth paradoxical flaw as fans will enjoy Double Booked For Death.

Harriet Klausner
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Bookshops are probably my most favorite place to be so I am always happy to get a cozy mystery set in a bookshop. I feel right at home there. This was a good mystery with a very good story line with believable characters. I like cats, too, so that was nice. This book must have been written especially for me. thank you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read on August 07, 2014 — I own a copy

I loved this cozy mystery! Hamlet reminds me of my big ol' cat, Fidget, who died a few months ago. I laughed until I cried at his shenanigans. Whoever says cats are stupid have never meet Hamlet, Figgie, and my back cat Clyde! Hamlet helps solves the mysterious death of a very popular author - Valerie Baylor. Baylor writes a very popular Young Adult series - Haunted High. Baylor is even hotter than the "Boy Wizard" author. And Darla Pettistone is going to host the famous writer in her bookstore that she inherited from her late great aunt. Before Baylor and her entourage arrive, the lone protestor is still across the street - same garb, but a different sign. The message is similar to the one she carried yesterday. But why is she accusing the bestselling author of plagiarism? Darla's staff aren't too keen on having Baylor at Pettistone Fine Books either. Darla needs sales of the signing - finances are tight at the store right now, and she has her friend and tenant Jake to look after, especially since the older woman is a disabled cop. Jake and her friend Reese - an off duty detective - are providing security for the event, trying to keep everyone in long black capes and a streak of red lipstick in an orderly line.

When Baylor and her entourage finally get to the shop, Darla is dismayed witth the author's behavior. She is rude to everyone. Hamlet likes her and sits with her in the outdoor court yard. After only an hour Baylor announces that needs another cigarette break and goes out to the court yard. A few minutes later, tires screech. Baylor has been hit by a church van driven by Darla's sister friend, Marnie. Yes, Marnie threatened both Darla and the dead author. Was Baylor pushed or accidentally fell into the van's path?
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