Saturday, January 8, 2011

Laughs and Fun: A Kindle Bargain

Today I'm featuring a great Kindle book at a bargain price of only $.99.

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three Quarters
A murder by beheading sends Alice Harte, reluctant real estate broker for thugs, running into the arms of Nigel Channing, a charming British con man.

This urban fantasy is set in Miami and London. Fans of Stephanie Plum will cheer for Alice as she watches her back in attempting to keep her head, while being stalked by Nigel's daft ex-wife and inept, but dangerous mobsters. Alice's world is filled with memorable characters strangely reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. She's guided through her dangerous adventure by her own Cheshire Cat.

Nigel, a chubby John Cleese with serious dress-code problems, whisks Alice to England. Alice sees him as her White Rabbit rescuer. The plot trips along at a cracking pace with Alice flinging zingers like a drive-by shooter.

After Alice discovers a gangster's freshly beheaded body in his Miami mansion, she launches a desperate self-defense in a kangaroo court. The main witness against her is Algy Green, a bumbling cockney swindler who super-glues his bat wing ears to his head and commits perjury for theme park tickets. But in the middle of the trial a small piece of evidence opens her eyes.

My Review: 
Heroine Alice Harte is a neurotic mess. She's germaphobic and hooked on Xanax. But who can blame her for her addiction? After a messy divorce, she ends up working for a psychopath who sues people to death when he can't get away with killing them. Alice is also an anglophile and when she meets Nigel online, he exactly fulfills her fantasy of a having a John Cleese type for a lover. Anxious to get away from her troubles at home, she flies to England to meet Nigel. She's in such a muddle from her pills and her troubles and her neuroses, that Nigel can do no wrong in her eyes. She ignores all the warning signs and falls for Nigel's explanations, no matter how outlandish they are. And they are outlandish. When Alice discovers that Nigel has a wife, she believes his story that he's actually divorced, even when the ex turns up to stalk Alice. 

Meanwhile, back at home the conflict with her boss heats up. Alice enlists the help of a friend to get herself out of the mess without ending up dead. They go on to solve the mystery of her boss's big scheme. Throughout the book there are some hysterical scenes mixed in with the seemingly normal. Alice's total faith in Nigel lead her to calmly accept situations that would have sent other women screaming for the door--fish are thrown in Nigel's face by people he claims are strangers, their hotel reservations are lost" so they drive around Paris half the night until they end up in a seedy place, etc. Alice's blind faith and cluelessness add to the hilarity. 

The characters and situations were wacky. The story drew me in from page one and didn't let go. Best of all, was author Barbara Silkstone's subtle wit. I recommend this book.

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