Laura Resnick ´ 0 FREE READI ead 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 uniue 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 Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes 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 beeleased separately in January 2010 Solid genre bookWorld 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 funStory 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 est of the cast makes it a fun ead 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 ll my eyes in a fun way SolidA solid entry a good junk food bookOnward to the next book 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 dislikeIn 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 estaurant 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 troubleThe title probably would ve been funnier if it hadn t been adopted as the name for what s killing mobsters and epeated 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 likeThis book never pretends to be anything it isn t It s silly fluffy urban fantasy and Esther well
knows how idiculous it sounds In case she forgets other characters are than willing to laugh or disbelievehow idiculous it sounds In case she forgets other characters are than Willing To Laugh Or Disbelieve to laugh or disbelieve me feel this book is grounded in eality than most urban fantasy despite its humor trappingsThere were times though when it seemed the humor might ely 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 onFor now though I do plan to ead the next book We ll see if it lays the above fears to est and continues to give me the fun melding of murder mystery and magic that I enjoy in these books I also hope we see Detective Lopez Not because I particularly like him but I like how Esther plays off him 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 thinkThis 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 un into other odd charactersSpeaking of characters they e the thing that eally makes this book fun Esther herself plays a sort of straight man Not Handsome Enough 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 anythingeallyNot 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 themThe one part of the story I couldn t get into was the omance 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 elationship 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 Busy Park read Iecommend it for anyone looking for a lighthearted comedy or a
mystery with a twist 35 stars Second novel in the Estherwith a twist 35 stars Second novel in the Esther 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 feels natural and I thought that the secondary characters were altogether interesting 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 Beer Law: What Brewers Need to Know restaurant that is a popular hangout. While waiting tables in Little Italy actress Esther Diamondealizes some magical. For some very dangerous wise guy types Unfortunately supernatural happenings are afoot when Esther witnesses a mobster getting killed GIS and Fr�uleins: The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany 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 sheeally has no business being able to solve Worth a The Confederate Privateers read if you liked the first book All Esther Diamond wants is a decent actingole 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 Big Bad Detective Agency 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 inetrograde 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 tooDoppelgangster 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 The Placer romance I was so pleasantly surprised to find that it was all of these things and Diving into Doppelgangster was like getting the best piece of the pie and slowly savoring each biteResnick is in her element with Doppelgangster s dialogue She s a powerhouse with it The funny and engaging mobsterisms areampant 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 Otto Freundlich: Cosmic Communism read this year I laughed non stop throughout this bookThere is a small thread ofomance 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 seeing of 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 freuently 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 YippeeA Fiendishly Bookish Review know what you are thinking why did I The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, read this when I apprently hated the first in the series The short answer it has been a month of severeeading ADDThe long answer I m enrolled in a class to advance my nursing degree when my employer announces they are merging my nursing unit with a critical care unit in four months So all of a sudden I m also taking classes through work one of which means trying to Profiles in Leadership: Historians on the Elusive Quality of Greatness recover long ago knowledge of cardiachythms I had already euested Kraken from the library and had begged NetGalley for Harrison Suared so I
WAS AFRAID OF FULL BRAIN SYNDROME THE ESTHER DIAMONDafraid of Full Brain Syndrome The Esther Diamond by Resnick seemed to fit the b When I first saw the cover of Doppleganster I was intrigued I uickly learned I d be circumnavigating the world Laura Resnick created without the context of book one to walk me through Preceding Dopplegangster the first context of book one to walk me through
Dopplegangster the first 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 printIt appears that DAW ecognized the potential and bought the second and third books in the series Other People's Property: A Shadow History of Hip-Hop in White America released them and is goingescue and eprint Disappearing Nightly and finally give it the home it originally deserved I highly ecommend buying Dopplegangster and the new Sympathetic Magic Hopefully good sales will influence DAW a Penguin Imprint to get busy and publish book oneEvidently 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 ConnorEsther s life never goes to plan and she always ends up a mess looking like a mess or trying to getherself 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 Der Bilderwächter 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 aliveWhat 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 sightnone She isn t going to become some magical ueen 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 nightDopplegangster 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 ehired at her old waitressing job even if it is as a singing server at Bella Stella s a known and notorious Mob HangoutUnfortunately her on again off again cop boyfriend Joe Morellioops I mean Connor Lopez a gorgeous hunk of Cuban and Mischief is going on when a ash of doubles dopplegangsters starts to appear thr. .Preceding Dopplegangster The First
Cotch 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 MobTo 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 egulars 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 uestioning and chaos ensuesThe cops and the mob both think she knows than she does The only eal 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 Schätze Aus Dem Musée Picasso, Paris retired assassin wise guy who knows the truth and surprisingly accepts it uite easilyThe 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 youhe 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 claimsConnor 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 withetired mob enforcer LuckyEsther just wants her agent to Letters to Rollins 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 soonThe 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 funide 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 freuented by the Gambello crime family but hey a girl s gotta make a livingBefore long though Esther lands in deep trouble One of Bella Stella s Britain, Europe And The Third World regulars Chubby Charlie sees a perfect double of himself and then is murderedight 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 by murders 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 mayof Max her centuries old wizard friend Lucky an aging wiseguy and Max s new familiar Nelli who may a mystical creature but seems like an ordinary slobbering Canis familiarisWhat 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 omp 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 mystery and maybe a dash of chick lit It had me in stitches I also Resnick s first Esther Diamond book Disappearing Nightly You don t have to ead it to follow Doppelgangster s storyline but it s worth tracking down anyway just because it s fun Alright I ll start off by saying I LOVED this book and then continue on by going ight into complaining about it My complaint isn t about the book itself just a eally 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 Unverified: A Novel reason Iead 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 Grand Teton Explorers Guide rantI should probably mention that noteading the first book in no way took away from The Story I Loved story I loved book and will continue to love it even though a swap in publishers made for one very annoyed KellieAll 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 stopI 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 UFO Crash at Roswell: The Genesis of a Modern Myth read one but it gave this story some uniue flair that I ve never seen before Iteally 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 Peig: The Autobiography of Peig Sayers of the Great Blasket Island 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 copI ll definitely beeading the next book in the series I will not be going back to Löwen wecken read the first though shakes fist. Oughout the city A paranormal screwball comedy adventure Jennifer Crusie Original.