Saturday, May 19, 2012

Death Will Extend Your Vacation by Elizabeth Zelvin

Take a bunch of recovering alcoholics, stick them in a clean and sober house in the Hamptons, and murder will occur. At least that's what happens in Elizabeth Zelvin's Death Will Extend Your Vacation, the third book in her series. Zelvin brings back recovering Bruce Kohler, his best friend, Jimmy, and Jimmy's girlfriend, Barbara, in this latest mystery.

The trio had just arrived the previous day, so they really didn't know their housemate, Clea, when they found her dead on the beach. No one had anything actually bad to say about Clea after her death. However, Oscar, the wealthy entrepreneur who owned a second clean and sober house, said, "People had strong feelings about Clea." Well, it seems as if someone had strong feelings about Oscar as well. The real estate developer ruffled feathers of a few people, but it was still a surprise when he ended up dead. And, Oscar's murder just reinforced Barbara's determination to look for a killer. She just couldn't accept the verdict that Clea's death was accidental.

It was a pleasure to run into Bruce Kohler again in this book. He's showing a great deal of emotional growth since he first came to readers attention when he hit bottom and began his recovery. For one thing, he's looking at relationships in a whole new way. And, he's certainly attracted to one of his housemates. She just seems to have a secret or two.

Jimmy, the computer genius, is just as loveable as ever. I have to say, though, that Barbara got on my nerves. She's a co-dependent, and a therapist. She's also controlling, a snoop, and has to know everyone's business. She's actually the amateur sleuth who pushes the investigation.  This is one amateur sleuth who isn't subtle. I just can't stand her anymore.

Zelvin neatly ties up all the loose ends at the end, the relationships, the environmental aspect, the history of the island. Death Will Extend Your Vacation is summer reading for those who don't mind a few bodies on the beach.

Elizabeth Zelvin's website is

Death Will Extend Your Vacation by Elizabeth Zelvin. Five Star. 2012. ISBN 9781432825775 (hardcover), 270p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Thanks for taking the time to read and review the book, Lesa. I confess I'm more tickled than not by your reaction to Barbara. Good to know she's real enough to irritate a reader, though I hope most don't put her on the characters-we-love-to-hate list with Spenser's girlfriend Susan Silverman and Melrose Plante's Aunt Agatha. Barbara tries, she really does. :)

Lesa said...

Oh, I know Barbara tries, Elizabeth. I was discussing her in the car last night with a friend. I said I love Bruce, and he really shows growth, but Barbara was driving me nuts. So, you're right. She was real enough to irritate me. People continued to read Parker & Martha Grimes even though they might have complained about characters.

Robyn said...

I enjoyed reading your review. Thanks for taking the time to do that. I love crime books! I am reading a wonderful book right now called, "Angels Gate" by authors Andrew J. Rafkin and Louis Pagano. This a true crime story based in Los Angeles in 1983 about the largest monetary drug heist in history.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Robyn. I hope you come back and read my blog once in a while. Thanks for the comment. "Angels Gate" sounds fascinating.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I don't know why I haven't read one of Elizabeth's mysteries yet. I think it's time to remedy that deficiency. I don't mind bodies on the beach at all. :D

Lesa said...

Oh, I think it's time you tried one of her mysteries, too, Patricia. I'd start with the first, though, so you get to know the characters.

East Side Portland Carpet Cleaning said...

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Robyn said...

Thanks! I'll be back. This is a great site. I'd love to know what you think of "Angels Gate".