Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How to Be Death-Amber Benson

How to Be Death

Amber Benson

Ace, Feb 28 2012, $7.99

ISBN 9781937007287

Since her dad’s untimely death thanks to his late oldest daughter (see Death’s Daughter), Calliope Reaper-Jones feels pressure she does not want; as the President and CEO of Death, Inc. with the Board and others making demands on her life. She knows she needs to read How to be Death (A Fully Annotated Guide), but has not gotten around to it. Instead she has depended on her younger brilliant sister Clio and a few of her dad’s best minions to help her as the girl who can make her deadly wishes come true.

Reaper attends the annual Death Dinner and masquerade ball at Haunted Hearts Castle. At the gala, she sees Daniel who she loves but assumes her feelings are unrequited; besides he is busy running Hell while his former boss receives heavenly punishment for his failed coup. Lying on the floor of Cal’s room is Daniel’s date Coy who is beheaded. Former Psychical Bureau of Investigation field agent Edgar Freezay leads the homicide investigation while Callie panics that the guide book she never opened has been stolen; if misused it could mean the extinction of humanity.

This is an entertaining locked castle murder mystery in which the homicide occurs about half way into the storyline. Callie has not matured since inheriting the position (see Serpent’s Storm and Cat’s Claw) as she remains unsure and shallow especially in the pre-murder chapters; in fact she would agree Clio is a better long term choice to become Ms. Death. Freezay takes over the novel with his inquiry. Still fans will enjoy Callie’s chick lit commentary as she struggles to learn How To Be Death; a job she does not want nor feel capable of performing.

Harriet Klausner

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