Monday, March 24, 2008

DEADLY ADVICE by Roberta Isleib

by Roberta Isleib
Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin Group
ISBN: 0425214745
Paperback, 272 pages, $6.99 US
Genre: Mystery

Dr. Rebecca Butterman is a practicing clinical psychologist who also writes a weekly advice column for an online magazine. Divorced and living in a condo in Guilford, Connecticut, Rebecca is distressed to learn her neighbor, Madeline Stanton, apparently committed suicide. Rebecca is unsettled that she had not made efforts to know her neighbor very well, and when Madeline's mother asks her to take care of Madeline's cat until she can find a home for it, Rebecca readily agrees. But when Mrs. Stanton expresses her suspicions about her daughter's death and nudges Rebecca to look for clues as to why her daughter died, Rebecca's wary. Consequently, Rebecca's editor wants her to branch out and begin writing about her experiences in the dating field, but Rebecca is reluctant. However, when she learns that her neighbor had been involved with a speed dating service, she thinks it wouldn't hurt to look into Madeline's death while obtaining information for her column. It isn't long before Rebecca's reeled into the world of fast-paced dating, Internet seduction, murder investigations, and a killer on the loose.

Dr. Rebecca Butterman was first introduced in Isleib's Golf Lover's Mysteries, and fans of that series will enjoy the Advice Column Mysteries series, as well. Butterman is an engaging character, a psychotherapist who is divorced, approaching middle-age and trying to move forward with her life while dealing with past traumas. Her strongest features are her compassion for humans and animals and her inner sense of rightfulness. Deadly Advice is a fast-paced mystery, with red herrings around every corner, and plenty of twists and turns. Recommended.

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