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The Groaning Board Hardcover – May 19, 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Beneath the cutesy tagline "A Smith and Wetzon Mystery" lies a shrewd and funny series about two female Wall Street headhunters whose combined strengths and quirks make a formidable, fascinating unit. This seventh outing keeps the tall, elegant, coolly autocratic Xenia Smith in the background while petite Leslie Wetzson--an ex-Broadway dancer who too often lets her heart get her into trouble--trades one controlling lover for another as she explores the connections between a couple of poisonings and an upscale catering company. Annette Meyers writes a series of excellent historical mysteries (under the pseudonym Maan Meyers) with her husband Martin, set in Dutch New Amsterdam before it became New York (The Dutchman's Dilemma, The House on Mulberry Street). Here she creates a perfect tone--part bitchy, part lyrical--for her tales of more recent Manhattanites. Her last Smith and Wetzon shootout, These Bones Were Made for Dancin', is available in paperback.

From Library Journal

Xenia Smith and Leslie Wetzon, Wall Street head-hunters, attempt to work with caterers Barron and Devora but suspect one or the other of murder. Smith and Wetzon, meanwhile, have new business and love problems as well. Incisive and witty.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (May 19, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038547654X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385476546
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,727,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One of the best parts of this series has usually been the realization of Leslie's emotional growth and personal assertiveness. Yet I felt this book portrays her regression into a teenybopper mindset who easily hops into a relationship with a man with definitely sinister connections. That's not thrilling: that's juvenile. Easily,she tosses over the "love of her life" and, as she did with a former "Power-Trip Lover," rubs Silvestri's nose in it. Leslie's belated visitation (after how many years?) and "oh, my goodness" description of his apartment was just a little too difficult to believe considering that Silvestri does possess the couth to be "at home" in an abode of Leslie's stylish taste, and because of the fact that he is enough of an age that has relinquished the "Early Dorm Room" type of decorating. By now, it's simply a far reach, given his stage in life, that the place would be that bad. Plus, the couple's main differences, after all, don't present as intellectual or societal ones (they communicate verbally at the same level and he doesn't eat with his feet), but on the difficulty of blending their occupational worlds, which is a fairly common standoff in most relationships as evidenced when holiday parties cause the stress of crossing territories. So psychologically, given their extremely strong chemistry and depth of feeling evidenced in prior books, this "tossing away" of the relationship makes no sense at this time. In reading the book, the incongruity of the couple's feelings versus efforts somehow overrode the gist of the book and had a disconcerting effect. Suddenly Les seems a mess and looked like some tasteless relationship-randomizer instead of continuing along the maturation process.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Disappointing ... although still a page turner, I found The Groaning Board to be less than expected. While, fortunately, Smith was less in evidence, unfortunately so was Carlos, the wittiest of the bunch. Another breakup with Silvestri and within minutes (or so it seems), Wetzon has found someone new, not necessarily an improvement. Another sleek "sensitive", rich lawyer without the moodiness of Silvestri but also without much of an interesting character. Let's hope the next time out will see Meyers back to the level she attained previously.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Annette Meyers is a longtime New Yorker and was a former assistant to Broadway producer Hal Prince and vice president at a headhunting firm, and all three professions provide the backdrop and spice to "The Groaning Board," her seventh mystery featuring Xenia Smith and Leslie Wetzon.
This is one of those mysteries where the secondary stories are just as entertaining as the whodunit. Wetzon, the former dancer partnered with Smith in their growing headhunting firm, acts as her own Watson as she investigates the death of one of the characters associated with The Groaning Board, the gourmet store partway through its 15 minutes of fame. Its principals are fighting over an initial public offering that can stand to make them millions, and the sharks are circling over this potential gold mine.
Meyers is a writer with the cheek to install a solitary Fabio in the background of a restaurant scene and razz at his declining celebrity, as well as to insert a quotation from one of the book's characters into the fronts piece. She's talented enough to create Xenia Smith, a barracuda whose cheerful duplicity and unabashed greed manages to retain the affection of both Wetzon and the reader.
She also does for New York City in detective fiction what Woody Allen does in film: showing us the glamor and the attractions of the city that never sleeps. To Meyers, New York is a nice place to visit and you would want to live there, and it is be a measure of the city's place in fiction that this attitude comes across as fresh, almost revolutionary.
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Format: Hardcover
.....Xenia Smith and Leslie Wezon are partners in a Wall Street executive search firm. They go to the
Groaning Board, a popular food store, to arrange catering for an upcoming dinner party they plan
to host. At the establishment, Smith and Wezon meet the co-owners, A.T. Barron and Micklynn
Devora, a squabbling team whose seemingly irreconcilable differences appears to be dooming
the lucrative business. Not much after that visit, people are being poisoned by food made at the
Groaning Board. At least one person, a former girl friend of Leslie's lover, has died. This incident
leads to the break up of Leslie's relationship.
.......When the evidence points towards Micklynn as the prime suspect, she hires Leslie, who begins
to investigate the poisoning. Leslie soon finds her own life in jeopardy as someone obviously
does no want her to uncover the truth behind the food poisoning incidents. Leslie may learn that it
is safer on Wall Street than it is on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but that lesson may have
been learned too late.
.....THE GROANING BOARD is a gourmet's delight due to its brilliant lead characters and their
interactions and reactions to each other and to other players. The business world is an intriguingly
insightful backdrop to a well written who-done-it. All seven Smith and Wezon novels are worth
reading by fans who enjoy intricately woven characters (think DNA double helix) and a glimpse
inside the Manhattan business world.
..... Harriet Klausner
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