Strangle a Loaf of Italian Bread

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A diet-club leader with a taste for crime investigates a murder. Ellie Bernstein, who's babysitting a border collie for shy, insecure fellow member Rachel Lester, is hanging out with her boyfriend, Lt. Peter Miller of Colorado Springs Homicide, when he's called to a murder scene. Ignoring his obligatory warning, Ellie plans to find out who strangled Sara Lee, who looked and sounded just like Barbra Streisand, and tossed her body into the dumpster behind Uncle Vinnie's Gourmet Italian Restaurant, where she worked as a waitress. Unfortunately, Sara's abusive, hot-tempered husband Trent has an alibi. So who else didn't like Sara Lee? When Rachel's controlling husband Matthew Lester is found dead, Ellie, learning that Rachel isn't really in Houston taking care of her sick sister, adds finding Rachel to her list of things to do. Interviews with restaurant staff, community-theater people, Trent's karaoke-crazed sister and her own brother hint that the two murders may be related. Ellie's lost 55 pounds and an annoying husband, but even at the risk of alienating Peter, she still can't control the sleuthing habit that's replaced eating as her favorite thing to do. Dietz (Chain a Lamb Chop to Bed, 2005, etc.) has created some amusing characters in search of a plot coherent enough to showcase their talents.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    readers will enjoy this amateur sleuth mystery with a smidgen of a police procedural elements

    In Colorado Springs, Weight Winners diet club leader fortyish Ellie Bernstein is dog-sitting while a member Rachel Lester visits her ailing sister in Houston. Ellie is with her boyfriend Homicide Detective Lieutenant Peter Miller when he receives a call that someone has strangled Sara Lee using a Daffy Duck necktie. ---------------

    Pete warns Ellie to stay out of it, but she vows to learn who killed the Barbra Streisand voice alike and tossed her corpse in the dumpster behind Uncle Vinnie's Gourmet Italian Restaurant. The obvious suspect her volatile husband former NFL player Trent Zachariah has an alibi. Soon afterward someone kills Rachel's martinet husband Matthew. Ellie tries to reach Rachel in Houston, but learns she is not there as the sister is healthy. As she interviews people at the strip mall where the restaurant is located, Ellie finds a link to her brother and the community theatre auditioning for Hello Dolly.--------

    Although the story line never quite gels into a full meal because the subplots never merge until the final denouement, readers will enjoy this amateur sleuth mystery with a smidgen of a police procedural due to the eccentric cast starting with the heroine who has never found a mystery she can ignore. Ellie loves to sleuth almost as much as she used to love to nosh. The secondary characters are an entertaining group with differing personalities who make Ellie's investigation fun to follow as she analyzes the mean and opportunity considering even a very tall thin female potentially possessing the strength to choke out small Sara and even lift a dead man.----------

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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