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by Jennifer Apodaca
Kensington Books, May 2003
295 pages
ISBN: 0758200749

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

DYING TO MEET YOU is the second in the Samantha Shaw mystery series. Although I have not read the first one, DATING CAN BE MURDER, I was able to get into the story quickly and comfortably. Samantha Shaw (Sam) is the owner of a dating service "Heart Mates" in the small town of Lake Elsinore, California. She is also a reviewer of Romance novels. Plus, she is beginning to get quite a reputation as an amateur investigator. She is a widowed mother of two sons and lives with her grandfather. 

When Sam finds a former client of Heart Mates, Faye Miller, murdered she feels somehow responsible. The police naturally blame Faye's estranged husband. The husband swears he is innocent and hires Sam to find the killer. Sam gets into some really interesting situations. Some are humorous, some are silly, some are scary, but all are believable. 

If I were going to be a "private investigator" or "amateur sleuth" this character would be me. She is not one of those women who always have every hair in place and look like they just stepped out of a high fashion magazine. She is true to life. I guess that is why I enjoyed the book so much. I could see myself in Sam (except our choice of clothing would be quite different!) or I could just as easily believe that she is my next-door neighbor. The book was well written and held my attention throughout. The only discomfort I had reading the book came in the early pages when I thought Sam might end up playing second fiddle to the males in the story. That somehow she might be a "Girl Friday" type. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my fears were unfounded and Sam is developed into a strong character who can accept help from the men in her life but who is also a capable women in her own right. If you like to have real mysteries to solve, with humor and passion added in, then this is a book you should not miss. 

Reviewed by Barbara Wright, May 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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