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Elise Hyatt’s (Sarah Hoyt) third in the adventures of Dyce Dare (Candyce Chocolata Dare–after much arguing between her father and her then-pregnant mother would name their expected daughter, they reconciled in a candy store and…) is another fun romp.
Dyce is getting married. Her boyfriend, police detective Cas Wolfe asked and she said yes. And while taking a break in wedding planning, Dyce turns to her main source of income, refinishing and reselling used furniture. A table she’s working on puzzles her. It seems to be made of hardwood but is refinished to look like cheap pine, and badly refinished at that. So she pulls out the belt sander her fiance had given her as a present and lets it rip, cutting a trench through the surface because she was not expecting how powerful the sander was.
What’s that under the horrid finish? Oak? And…are those bloodstains?
And, Dyce being Dyce, she cannot leave it alone. She’s off to track down the source of the table wondering if maybe the bloodstains mean another murder.
In the meantime, her fiance, Cas Wolfe, is investigating a series of arsons in empty houses and apartments, including one where a body was found.
Her ex-husband’s wife says that her son is ill and asks to keep him after the time demanded by the joint custody agreement only Dyce discovers that her son is in perfect health.
And then her parents keep coming up with more and more outre ideas for Dyce’s wedding. And strangers start demanding she stop looking into the background of that table and its mysterious stains.
Don’t expect deep philosophy in this book. Don’t expect angst and hand wringing. Instead expect a fun romp, enough threats to keep things interesting, and a delightfully involuted mystery. Recommended.
The Dyce's Dare series is one of those series where one falls in love with the characters, both major and minor. The setting is a character of its own, with Goldport, CO feeling as much like a magical other world as Mary Stewart's Corfu or Austen's Bath. The authorial "voice," in this case the first person narration by Hoyt's reluctantly reluctant sleuthing (She knows she shouldn't oughta, but...) is distinctive. If it appeals to you, you will adore these books. (I also recommend her non-fiction essays at accordingtohoyt.com, especially the ones which include vignettes of her childhood in a s Portuguese village.) The comedy, and the drama evolves naturally from these entertaining characters, which means that of course, the reader will want more stories featuring them.
Yet while I want do very much want more stories with mice bouttonierres, daring toddler burglaries and best-friend mummy burritos, I don't want horrid adventures happening to this family! They feel to real to me. Bizarre, no?
Our girl, Dyce Dare is somewhat insane. So is her 3 year old son but they do come by it honestly as both Dyce's parents are whack-a-doodles. They're charming and entertaining whack-a-doodles, though, so it's all good. I don't know what to make of the 3 year old, E (Enoch!). He is a holy terror little scamp. His maturity and emotional levels seem to be consisitent for a 3 year old but the kid speaks like a precocious 13 year old. How many 3 yr olds use the word "absolutely" or know how to spell "llama"? He is adorable. Somehow, Dyce has gotten the seemingly normal policeman, Cas Wolfe, to ask her to marry him. Dyce's eccentric mom and equally eccentric BFF, Ben are planning the wedding and driving Dyce crazier than she already is. i.e. mom wants her cat to be the maid of honor(!?) The fun begins when Dyce picks up a beat up table at a garage sale. As she is refinishing the table (this is what she does for a living), she finds a stain on it which seems to be blood. She doesn't mention this to her policeman fiancee which is fine since she's not sure it's blood. But she is curious enough about it to track down the table's previous owner. She finds out the table's owner's wife has gone missing. So now she has a table with a possible blood stain and the table's owner is officially a missing person (with a police report and everything) but Dyce still doesn't mention any of this to her fiancee. She inspects the table further and with the help of a black flashlight (whatever that is) determines that the stain is,in fact, blood. Right after this discovery she is visited by a malevolent stranger who is a friend of the missing woman. He warns Dyce to mind her own business or else. So now she has a blood stained table linked to a missing person and she has been threatened. She STILL doesn't seem to think she should mention any of this to her fiancee.O well, no one could accuse our gal of being a rational person. She finally does tell him everything but continues to investigate on her own The ending wasn't a huge surprise but there is a twist. I truly was laughing out loud almost every other page. This is a fun series and I hope there will be more. There was about a 2 year lapse between the last book and this one and I was afraid the series had ended. So glad that wasn't the case. Can't wait for the next one
This is the third installment of the Dice Dare mysteries, and the most complete and detailed yet. Dyce and her beau grow closer despite her precocious and extremely bright child and her emotional baggage from her parents and previous failed relationships. She is drawn into a missing persons case, as Cas (her fiance police detective) works a series of arsons. Of course the two cases intersect drawing Dyce into danger. Fast paced action, problem-solving and a rescue by an unexpected hero drive a satisfying conclusion. I particularly liked the humor salted throughout the book that helps define the good natured battler Dyce is as she enjoys her craft, her friends, her boy and the city of Goldport. strongly recommend this book, and the first two.
This 3rd book in the fun and lively cozy murder mystery series, "A Daring Finds Mystery," has several aspects that kept me turning the pages to finish the book quickly. First it tells us right off from the beginning that the characters are going to be making changes in the coming novels. I, personally, love this because I'm fond of character growth. Sometimes a character just never changes and the stories become stale. Not, this one.
We follow Candyce 'Dyce' Dare, and her Cas (Wolfe) planning their wedding and perhaps even finding a mutual home that makes both feel secure and happy. We follow the incredible brain power of Dyce's Son, Enoch (E.) It is obvious that not only is E gifted, but, Dyce is also, but doesn't realize it in herself. We get a better glimpse into Dyce's best friend, Ben and Cas' work (police department) partner, Nick's growing life together even to the point of...nope, I'm not telling...you have to read the book.
In the midst of all this character growth plops a kitchen table with a past. The past comes with a report of a missing woman, blood stains, sinister blond men, threats upon Dyce's life and her parents, and more. Dyce tries to reason this out by herself, and with the aid of 'E', but it gets out of hand, or should I say house.
The dialog is quick and witty. The ending is surprising and satisfying. It was an adventure to read this book. Now, I'm impatient for the next one.
I won't summarize this book because it has already been done well. What I throughly enjoy about these books are the characters. Dyce is great although eccentric! She is relentless in seeking answers to any questions that she has. In this book it's the unusual stain she has found on a table she's refinishing.
Her family is a hoot. I love E! He is definitely Dyce's son. He is hysterically funny in his actions and remarks. Dyce's parents could be a comedy show all on their own. When her father calls her Sherlockia, I just howl! Ben, her best friend, and her mother are trying to take the planning of Dyce's wedding to new heights, and she wants it simple. Ben can also be a bit of a funny with his romance problems. The only normal person in these books is Cas, Dyce's fiancee, who takes all the craziness in Dyce's life in stride. The mystery portion of this book is well thought through and meshes with the rest of the "weirdness" beautifully.
I cannot wait until the next installment. Elise, please write faster!
Another delightful outing from Elise Hyatt/Sara Hoyt. Once again Dyce is in trouble and with the help of her best friend, fiance' and other assorted characters solves the mystery. This is not a novel for those expecting realism or the discipline of a police procedural. It's a fun outing with a character who just can't stay out of trouble. Put your troubles aside for a few hours and enjoy the ride.