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Doppelgangsters See my full thoughts here s a scene in Doppelgangster where the protagonist beats an evil sorcerer with a dead chicken That says just about everything, I think.This book is cheesy and stupid, but it very clearly understands that and is just having fun with it There are some serious aspects to the plot but most of it is just an excuse for the characters to get into absurd situations, observe things with some snark, or run into other odd characters.Speaking of See my full thoughts here s a scene in Doppelgangster where the protagonist beats an evil sorcerer with a dead chicken That says just about everything, I think.This book is cheesy and stupid, but it very clearly understands that and is just having fun with it There are some serious aspects to the plot but most of it is just an excuse for the characters to get into absurd situations, observe things with some snark, or run into other odd characters.Speaking of characters, they re the thing that really makes this book fun Esther herself plays a sort of straight man role, but that doesn t mean she isn t funny She has a few witty observations and one liners that make her a fun narrator Then there s her wizard friend, Max, whose lack of understanding of the modern world never seems to get old And all of the various mobster Wise Guys that they meet are such over the top Italian stereotypes that I couldn t help but laugh and shake my head whenever they did anything really.Not to mention that the mystery at the heart of the story is legitimately good The audience is only given information at a slow drip, which means that you figure things out at around the same pace as the characters It s not immediately obvious who s behind all of the murders and when I found out who it was, I felt genuine sympathy for them.The one part of the story I couldn t get into was the romance between Esther and Detective Lopez It s not that they don t have chemistry or that either of them are terrible people, it s just that life gets in the way of their relationship way too often for me to feel like they would ever work as an item Doppelgangster is very much a tongue in cheek book that s poking fun at the urban fantasy genre Even as someone who isn t much into that genre, this was a lot of fun to read I recommend it for anyone looking for a lighthearted comedy or a mystery with a twist 3.5 stars Second novel in the Esther Diamond Series This one was stronger than the first Resnick has cleared up some of the annoying ticks that I thought stood out in the first, she s calmed down on the cutesy dialogue, it feelsnatural, and I thought that the secondary characters were altogetherinteresting and well written in this follow up installment In this mystery, Esther has unfortunately found herself without a paying gig when her off broadway show is finally cancelled She 3.5 stars Second novel in the Esther Diamond Series This one was stronger than the first Resnick has cleared up some of the annoying ticks that I thought stood out in the first, she s calmed down on the cutesy dialogue, it feelsnatural, and I thought that the secondary characters were altogetherinteresting and well written in this follow up installment In this mystery, Esther has unfortunately found herself without a paying gig when her off broadway show is finally cancelled She finds herself working at Stella s which is a restaurant that is a popular hangout for some very dangerous wise guy types Unfortunately, supernatural happenings are afoot when Esther witnesses a mobster getting killed right before her eyes, with no possible killer in sight Esther is an appealing protagonist, capable enough but also not uber powered to the point where she s getting out of situations she really has no business being able to solve Worth a read if you liked the first book I read this story in Murder by Magic Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural , and I loved it It takes a fresh look at Made Men aka Mafiosos This time they are the victims of supernatural hits Each victim appears to his cronies and performs his normal behavior minutes before he dies Only it s not the victim It s his doppleganger This story managed to do something that I did not feel was possible To feel sorry for mobsters I am not a fan of mafioso types But these guys died in awfu I read this story in Murder by Magic Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural , and I loved it It takes a fresh look at Made Men aka Mafiosos This time they are the victims of supernatural hits Each victim appears to his cronies and performs his normal behavior minutes before he dies Only it s not the victim It s his doppleganger This story managed to do something that I did not feel was possible To feel sorry for mobsters I am not a fan of mafioso types But these guys died in awful ways, due to a supernatural curse I loved the concept and thought it was very unique and interesting Another plus of this story is how funny it is to see the mafia guys behaviors The narrator was sympathetic, although he was another Made Man And I actually found myself hoping that the culprit would be caught before another victim was claimed You ll never guess who the perpetrator of these murders are I started getting an inkling towards the end, but the clues come together in a natural procession This story is unmissable So grab a copy of the Murder by Magic anthology and read this story, if only to hope that these Made Men don t end up dead men Or you can wait for the story to be released separately in January 2010 When I first saw the cover of Doppleganster, I was intrigued I quickly learned I d be circumnavigating the world Laura Resnick created without the context of book one to walk me through Preceding Dopplegangster, the first book in the Esther Diamond series, Disappearing Nightly which at the time was published by Luna, unfortunately disappeared almost overnight, likely because back in 2005 the publisher didn t know what to do with it, and it was soon out of print.It appears that DAW recognize When I first saw the cover of Doppleganster, I was intrigued I quickly learned I d be circumnavigating the world Laura Resnick created without the context of book one to walk me through Preceding Dopplegangster, the first book in the Esther Diamond series, Disappearing Nightly which at the time was published by Luna, unfortunately disappeared almost overnight, likely because back in 2005 the publisher didn t know what to do with it, and it was soon out of print.It appears that DAW recognized the potential and bought the second and third books in the series, released them and is going rescue and reprint Disappearing Nightly and finally give it the home it originally deserved I highly recommend buying Dopplegangster and the new Sympathetic Magic Hopefully good sales will influence DAW a Penguin Imprint to get busy and publish book one.Evidently, in book one, Esther became friends with Max, a 350 year old wizard who looks a youthful 70 and who with her help, defeated a bad wizard and they killed his evil assistant Hieronymus, something that had to be done, but weighs on Esther s mind and something she can never tell her hopefully soon to be, cop boyfriend Connor.Esther s life never goes to plan and she always ends up a mess, looking like a mess, or trying to get.herself out of one It is almost a Lucille Ball kind of slapstick She stumbles from one zany, crazy, silly, hilarious, mix up to another She s like a pinball stuck in a game, being bashed around from one side to the other Esther is just trying to find her way to that acting gig that will break her into the big time, trying to find some romantic time with the guy of her dreams, while being flung from one part of town to another, trying to solve the mystery and stay alive.What is so fresh and wonderful about the Esther Diamond series is Esther is the ANTITHESIS of what has become the norm in Urban Fantasy The biggest weapons she carries are her four inch high heels She doesn t know how to fight There is no mystery about her parentage, other than how does her Mother always know to call when there is bad news She has no magical skills That s right none She isn t going to become some magical Queen she doesn t go around bossing everyone around because the whole world depends on her Nobody seems to depend on her, she s just trying to survive on her own, and maybe keep her boyfriend alive from the things he doesn t know about that go bump in the night.Dopplegangster again, this is book two starts with Stella losing her acting gig The play she was in, Sorcerer is canceled Being a struggling actress in New York is no joke She is damn glad to be rehired at her old waitressing job, even if it is as a singing server at Bella Stella s, a known and notorious Mob Hangout.Unfortunately, her on again off again cop boyfriend Joe Morelli oops, I mean Connor Lopez, a gorgeous hunk of Cuban and Scotch Irish parentage, doesn t agree and thinks it is a dangerous place for her to work He might have a point given the fact that there have been two mob hits there in the last five years and the owner Stella launders money for the Mob.To make matters worse, Lopez has just been promoted to the OCCB task force organized Crime Control Bureau, and his job is to crack down on organized crime Chubby Charlie, one of her Mafioso regulars, and Esther both see an exact walking, talking double of Chubby Charlie and then he is shot at his table, from an impossible angle This doesn t help Lopez s employment prospects as everyone thinks Esther had to have seen the murderer and is covering She finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and on the cover of a New York Tabloid publication looking like a mob girlfriend in the middle of a mob war In a very short period, wise guys begin dropping like flies just after they see their exact double, the cops want Esther brought in for questioning and chaos ensues.The cops and the mob both think she knowsthan she does The only real people Esther can count on are Max, the Sorcerer with his trusty if slobbery familiar Nelli,, a Wizardly familiar, in the body of a massive hound from another plane of existence, and Lucky, a retired assassin wise guy who knows the truth and surprisingly accepts it quite easily.The scenes with Lucky are great He s the kind of guy where if it was his job, and he had to do it, he d kill you, but otherwise, if he likes you he s gonna keep an eye out and try to help you out And he likes Esther Even though his concern is paternal, it is infuriating to Lopez, who cannot understand why Esther is hanging out with a mobster if she is innocent as she claims.Connor can only protect her so much, he can tell she s lying, and various factions of the mafia are beginning to think Esther might be better off sleeping with the fishes Connor also knows Max is hiding something and thinks he is a bad influence on Esther and he is incensed she is hanging out with retired mob enforcer, Lucky.Esther just wants her agent to return her calls with news of a great acting job, and to have sex with her boyfriend Given the situations she finds herself in, none of these things seems likely to happen any time soon.The one liners are hilarious, the side characters are incredibly nuanced and fleshed out, the heroine is hyper, smart and hilarious, and the hero is beleaguered The book is much like Esther, an oddball mix Part urban fantasy, part mystery, part screwball comedy harkening back to Katherine Hepburn and Carey Grant, It is a fun ride from start to finish I just bought the third book, Sympathetic Magic, and I hope Esther and Lopez sort out their differences and get a HEA or at least get a chance to work off some of that sexual frustration Given all that they ve been through together, they deserve it Esther Diamond is between acting jobs To make ends meet, she takes a job waiting tables at Bella Stella Connor Lopez, the cop who may or may not be Esther s boyfriend, is concerned because Bella Stella is frequented by the Gambello crime family, but hey, a girl s gotta make a living Before long, though, Esther lands in deep trouble One of Bella Stella s regulars, Chubby Charlie, sees a perfect double of himself and then is murdered right in front of her She s traumatized by the event, the ta Esther Diamond is between acting jobs To make ends meet, she takes a job waiting tables at Bella Stella Connor Lopez, the cop who may or may not be Esther s boyfriend, is concerned because Bella Stella is frequented by the Gambello crime family, but hey, a girl s gotta make a living Before long, though, Esther lands in deep trouble One of Bella Stella s regulars, Chubby Charlie, sees a perfect double of himself and then is murdered right in front of her She s traumatized by the event, the tabloids are painting her as mob connected, Lopez doesn t believe her version of events, and she s starting to suspect that Charlie s double was created by magic When other doubles start popping up, followed bymurders, it s up to Esther to find the killer, with the help of Max, her centuries old wizard friend Lucky, an aging wiseguy and Max s new familiar, Nelli, who may be a mystical creature but seemslike an ordinary, slobbering Canis familiaris.What follows is a twisty, well executed mystery plot laced with plenty of humor Laura Resnick touches on some serious themes from time to time these are gangsters, not Boy Scouts, after all but Doppelgangster never gets too heavy or depressing In fact, it s laugh out loud funny, the kind of book that makes me want to use words like screwball and romp Esther and her friends make a hilarious team, and I love watching them interact My favorite scenes include Lucky teaching Max to use gangster lingo, and pretty much any scene involving the dog Max would of course correct me I shouldn t call Nelli a dog She s a familiar Doppelgangster is a great mix of urban fantasy, humor, mystery, and maybe a dash of chick lit It had me in stitches I also recommend Resnick s first Esther Diamond book, Disappearing Nightly You don t have to read it to follow Doppelgangster s storyline, but it s worth tracking down anyway, just because it s fun Solid genre book.World The world buiding is solid, nothing creative here and pretty much all the pieces here can be found in another book in the urban fantasty genre That being said, it was still fun, the gangster angle was kinda stereotypical fun of the genre The expansion of the cast of characters is also fun.Story Solid for the genre, pacing was solid and the banter and situations was pleaseing There is nothing much to say about the book, it s a mob themed books with supernatural pieces Solid genre book.World The world buiding is solid, nothing creative here and pretty much all the pieces here can be found in another book in the urban fantasty genre That being said, it was still fun, the gangster angle was kinda stereotypical fun of the genre The expansion of the cast of characters is also fun.Story Solid for the genre, pacing was solid and the banter and situations was pleaseing There is nothing much to say about the book, it s a mob themed books with supernatural pieces Esther is a fun character and the rest of the cast makes it a fun read Characters Esther is solid, she s not entirely original just like all the characters but Resnick is good with dialog and the banter between the characters this time around was sun There were a lot of Italian stereotypes which made me rll my eyes in a fun way Solid.A solid entry, a good junk food book.Onward to the next book All Esther Diamond wants is a decent acting role that she can be proud of and her typically Jewish mother can be proud of as well she ll do anything to get her to stop nagging Plus, it would be nice to get a regular paycheck And finally go on a hot sexy date with her police detective boyfriend But it looks as if that s not in the cards for Esther At least not while Mercury is in retrograde and her proverbial job as a singing waitress at Bella Stella s the mob version of Casablanca is so All Esther Diamond wants is a decent acting role that she can be proud of and her typically Jewish mother can be proud of as well she ll do anything to get her to stop nagging Plus, it would be nice to get a regular paycheck And finally go on a hot sexy date with her police detective boyfriend But it looks as if that s not in the cards for Esther At least not while Mercury is in retrograde and her proverbial job as a singing waitress at Bella Stella s the mob version of Casablanca is soon to hit the skids When Esther s favorite wiseguy customer Chubby Charlie Chiccante is gunned down in front of her after seeing his mystical doppelganger, she s drawn deeply into a web of magical intrigue and the mobster underworld Who is creating the magical doppelganger assassins that threaten to start an all out mob war between New York s notorious crime families And can she stop it before she ends up sleeping with the fishes too Doppelgangster is an energetic gangster tale with elements of the paranormal that is both witty and hilarious At first, I didn t know what to expect when starting it Was it a paranormal Was it a mystery Was it a thriller Was it a romance I was so pleasantly surprised to find that it was all of these things andDiving into Doppelgangster was like getting the best piece of the pie and slowly savoring each bite.Resnick is in her element with Doppelgangster s dialogue She s a powerhouse with it The funny and engaging mobsterisms are rampant, clever, and her character interactions are simply gut busting In fact the two most important aspects of Resnick s tale are the originality of her idea and the brilliant character interactions Esther, paired with Lucky, Max, and Nelli at the behest of the Gambello s shy don makes this one of the funniest books I ve read this year I laughed non stop throughout this book.There is a small thread of romance between Esther and her slurpalicious detective Lopez But so far, the mobster shenanigans ensuing have firmly placed the lovers on opposite camps Lopez on the side of the law and Esther helping the family While this tenuous thread between the two of them was smoking hot, I suspect that we ll be seeingof sexy Detective Lopez in Resnick s next novel Especially the barest hint that he might not be what he seems, and could be psychically gifted If you want to truly be entertained, and laugh out loud frequently and enjoy storytelling at its best, give Doppelgangster a whirl And don t forget Esther s first story in Disappearing Nightly Resnick s next installment is out August 2010 entitled Unsympathetic Magic Yippee A Fiendishly Bookish Review While waiting tables in Little Italy, actress Esther Diamond realizes some magical mischief is going on when a rash of doubles dopplegangsters starts to appear throughout the city A paranormal screwball comedy adventure Jennifer Crusie Original This is the second book in the Esther Diamond series It s an improvement over the last book, though there are some indications the series might fall into some tropes I dislike.In the previous book, Esther, a struggling stage actress, found out that magic exists, and stopped a sorcerer who wanted to sacrifice leading ladies to a powerful demon In this book, her familiarity with magic serves her well, as it s the only explanation for the bizarre deaths taking place at her day job at an Italian r This is the second book in the Esther Diamond series It s an improvement over the last book, though there are some indications the series might fall into some tropes I dislike.In the previous book, Esther, a struggling stage actress, found out that magic exists, and stopped a sorcerer who wanted to sacrifice leading ladies to a powerful demon In this book, her familiarity with magic serves her well, as it s the only explanation for the bizarre deaths taking place at her day job at an Italian restaurant People with mod connections are seeing perfect doubles of themselves, and then dying within hours A hit man asks Esther for help finding the killer Meanwhile, Detective Lopez has been moved to the department that investigates the Mafia, and he d very much like for Esther to stay out of it before his conflict of interest gets them both in trouble.The title probably would ve been funnier if it hadn t been adopted as the name for what s killing mobsters, and repeated throughout the text Still, it s apt, and eye catching enough to make someone want to pick this up, if it s the sort of thing they d like.This book never pretends to be anything it isn t It s silly, fluffy urban fantasy, and Esther well knows how ridiculous it sounds In case she forgets, other characters arethan willing to laugh or disbelieve That made me feel this book isgrounded in reality than most urban fantasy, despite its humor trappings.There were times, though, when it seemed the humor might rely on the absurdity a little too much I worried future books might start to string together wacky hijinks, for lack of any better ideas It gave me flashbacks to the Stephanie Plum series, which I ve give up on.For now, though, I do plan to read the next book We ll see if it lays the above fears to rest, and continues to give me the fun melding of murder mystery and magic that I enjoy in these books I also hope we seeDetective Lopez Not because I particularly like him, but I like how Esther plays off him Alright, I ll start off by saying I LOVED this book and then continue on by going right into complaining about it My complaint isn t about the book itself, just a really irritating mishap by I assume, the publisher This is not the first book in this series When you open to the list of books in this series, this is the first one listed, followed by two with little s to indicate they hadn t been published yet The whole reason I read this book was I liked the look of book number three in this Alright, I ll start off by saying I LOVED this book and then continue on by going right into complaining about it My complaint isn t about the book itself, just a really irritating mishap by I assume, the publisher This is not the first book in this series When you open to the list of books in this series, this is the first one listed, followed by two with little s to indicate they hadn t been published yet The whole reason I read this book was I liked the look of book number three in this series which has in fact, now been published I was willing to take the time and start from the beginning and they let me down rantI should probably mention, that not reading the first book in no way took away from the story I loved this book and will continue to love it even though a swap in publishers made for one very annoyed Kellie.All that being said, this book was hilarious The title alone should tell you something It was laugh out loud funny the whole way through It was clever, witty and very well written I loved the main character, Esther as well as her mafia sidekick Lucky The older sorcerer Max was a little harder to get to know, but apparently that was what the first book was for Sorry, I said I d stop.I love that the mystery had a mob twist on it I m not especially a fan of mob stories, actually I m not sure I ve ever read one but it gave this story some unique flair that I ve never seen before It really helped to build the world that Esther lives in and the people that populate her life Her cop, would be boyfriend, even manages to play a roll in how the various crime families interacted with the main character I cracked a smile every time someone chimed in with You date a cop I ll definitely be reading the next book in the series I will not be going back to read the first though shakes fist


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