As anxious as I am to move on to the next book, The Hot Mess still deserves my attention. I like this book a lot, which I know sounds silly from an author. We're supposed to love all our books, the way we love all our children. (Okay, since I only have one child, that's pretty easy for me.) But we love our children differently.
I loved Freezer Burn because it was my first mystery novel and I was able to tell the story with a fun cast of characters and a plot that wasn't too full of holes. The whole thing was joyful. I especially loved the references to 40s film stars.
Hit or Missus was a difficult child, but I love it because it's more complex than Freezer Burn. I love the chick-lit elements of fashion and the elbow-rubbing Peri gets to do with the richer side of the Placentia tracks. Oddly, I hadn't planned to bring Benny Needles into this story, but my readers begged for him, so I relented. I'm glad I did. I enjoy him in this, as the little needy man who seems inept, until he displays some unknown talent that makes him indispensable.
The Hot Mess began as just the third story. It had possibilities. I planned to burn Benny's house down, put a body inside for good measure, and see how he melted down. What I ended up with was a story about people and families and secrets and tragedies and I love it. I love Peri and Benny's relationship in this. I love learning so much about their respective families. I love it that Skip and Peri have an active and exciting love life.
As with all my other books, I'm doing a giveaway via Goodreads. You've got until January 20th to enter. I chose that date because, well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. The bad news is that I'm only opening this contest to US residents. I'm sorry, I know I'm being selfish, but the last time I opened the contest to US, Canada, Australia, and the UK. Most of the winners were from Canada and Australia. This not only cost me extra $$ in terms of postage, but Canada's mail system was on strike at the time, so the US was not mailing anything to Canada until it was resolved. It took me weeks to get the darned books sent.
Here's the link to enter: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16249116-the-hot-mess.
I hope you win.