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Not A Girl Detective: A Cece Caruso Mystery    by Susan Kandel order for
Not A Girl Detective
by Susan Kandel
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Cece Caruso is writing a book on Nancy Drew. Her grown-up job involves writing biographies of deceased mystery writers. And what better mystery writer than the author who managed to entrance almost every girl's growing up years?

Unfortunately, nothing ever turns out to be easy for this heroine as was proven in Susan Kandel's first book, I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason. Cece (who has a flair for period clothing) attends a Nancy Drew convention and trouble again tracks her down. She finds a dead body, a painting goes missing a nude of the Nancy Drew model - and Cece is a suspect!

She and her equally unusual friends careen through life, taking it as it comes. Unfortunately, in this episode, Cece is having difficulty coming up with an ending for her book. Her editor is waiting for it and Cece feels compelled to do her research in person. Which, of course, leads to more trouble.

Not A Girl Detective is a great beach read. Susan Kandel's droll sense of humor resounds throughout the story. But she carefully weaves a tightly written plot around the laugh lines. To me, laughter is the very essence of life. With a really good mystery thrown in, how can you go wrong?

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