Series: Domestic Diva Mystery #5
Published by Berkley on September 6, 2011
Genres: Cozy Mystery
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Domestic diva Sophie Winston is getting into the Halloween spirit- her decorations for a community haunted house are so good, it's scary. Not to be outdone, rival domestic diva Natasha is throwing a spooktacular Halloween party at her house. But when Sophie arrives, she discovers one of Natasha's guests dead in a Halloween display, and a pale, fanged partygoer fleeing the scene. Could the killer be a real vampire-the same one rumored to have lived in Sophie's haunted house back when it was a boardinghouse? Good thing a domestic diva never runs out of garlic.
This is the first Domestic Diva Mystery I’ve read. I won it from Krista Davis’ Facebook page, and it’s a perfect read for this time of year. The fact that I jumped in with #5 in the series. The characters were introduced well and we’re given enough backstory to get to know how people fit together, but not so much that it’s boring.
The Diva Haunts the House has everything I want in a seasonal cozy. Halloween is present on almost every page, including costume parties, haunted houses, holiday recipes (included in the back of the book), and ideas for decorating and party-planning at the beginning of each chapter. We’ve got a cast of entertaining, quirky characters, including several suspects, and even a couple of adorable pets. There were a lot of kids in this one. They were all 12-year olds and they did help move the plot along and kept it entertaining; I just don’t really enjoy reading about kids and pre-teen angst.
The mystery is well-put-together and fun. Patrick couldn’t actually have been killed by a vampire, right? And the haunted house can’t really be haunted? The clues fit together and I liked how Sophie didn’t think she was smarter or better than the cops, although, once again, our cozy mystery sleuth has a police detective boyfriend. At least I think he’s her boyfriend. There’s a love triangle/rhombus thing going on that I could have done without. I can’t tell if that’s a running thing in the series or just in this book.
Overall, The Diva Haunts the House is an entertaining read, funny with just a touch of spookiness.