Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: Dolled Up to Die

Dolled Up To Die (Cate Kinkaid Files - Book 2) by Lorena McCourtney

Publication Date: July 15, 2013
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Imprint: Revell 
Genre: Chrsitian Mystery
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0800721594
ISBN-13: 978-0800721596

(Received for an honest review from Revell Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, ChristianBook, IndieBound

Lorena McCourtney on the WEB: WebsiteFacebook, Goodreads 

Books in the series:

Dying to Read (2012), Dolled Up to Die (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Dolled Up to Die, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside Feature


When Cate Kinkaid receives a frantic call about a triple homicide, she drives to the scene against her better judgment--aren't triple homicides more up the police department's alley?--only to find that the victims are not quite who she expects. Now she has a new rule to add to those she's learned in her short stint as an assistant private investigator: always find out if the victims actually have human DNA. Because these three do not.

But who would shoot this nice lady's dolls? What possible reason could the shooter have? And then there's the startling discovery of another victim, who definitely does have human DNA . . .

With tension that is matched only by humor, Dolled Up to Die is the exciting second book in Lorena McCourtney's The Cate Kinkaid Files. Mystery fans won't find a place to stop and take a breath in this fast-paced and intriguing tale.


Lorena McCourtney's sleuth, Cate Kinkaid is at it again in the latest book in the Cate Kinkaid Files series, Dolled Up to Die. This is a cozy mystery with a Christian perspective. Intriguing characters and an interesting premise make this book a must read for those who enjoy a good whodunit with a message. McCourtney's knack for adding humor and Christian wisdom is evident in just about every chapter. Readers will love this fast paced mystery with a captivating twist. Some of the victims aren't human!

I love McCourtney's approach to mystery. As in most of her books she adds in just the right amount of humor to make those intense situations a little lighter. This is typical of the cozy mystery sub-genre, but the interesting part is that this is a Christian cozy and I think the humor might not be expected to many Christian and inspirational readers. I think it will be nice surprise and endear them even more to the characters and to the author. I think McCourtney really scores with this approach.

I loved the whole doll angle that McCourtney uses in Dolled Up to Die. The fact that three of the victims are dolls was kind of an odd idea but it really works here. Of course there was an additional human victim that actually propels the investigation, but I thought McCourtney addition of the dolls was certainly inventive. 

Most the time when you find dolls in fiction, especially in mysteries, they have a kind of creepiness to them and I think McCourtney effectively took that away in this one, which was nice. I will never forget that episode of Criminal Minds where the woman was kidnapping women, drugging them and dressing them up like life size dolls. I had the heebie jeebies for weeks over that one. But McCourtney's dolls are nothing like that. She was able to make the doll-maker a very intriguing character and give the reader some interesting information about doll making in the process.

The cast of characters in this book was exceptional. I love Octavia the dead cat and all of the interesting suspects who all had motive. The handsome wine maker, the spiritualist and even the eye-candy chick all added a new dimension to the mystery. I loved the way the book flowed, with each characters having their page time and moving the story along. McCourtney does an excellent job of incorporating everyone into the mix.

Cate as usual is a great heroine. She has a few moments of indecision and sometimes she is clueless about what's going on around her, but she still comes off as a very good sleuth. Eventually she puts it all together and solves the case, right along with the reader. She is also the crux of the Christian message in this book. She rely's on God in all situations and I think McCourtney's message is evident but not overpowering. 

This is a great cozy with a Christian influence and McCourtney does a wondering job of writing good clean fiction for readers who don't want all gore and rough language.

Available July 15th at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Lorena McCourtney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of dozens of novels, including Dying to Read, Invisible (which won a Daphne du Maurier Award from Romance Writers of America), In Plain SightOn the Run, and Stranded. She resides in Oregon.