Reviews of Death Takes A Mistress,
A Dan and Rivka Sherman Mystery by Larry and Rosemary Mild.
Book Breeze Mystery Reviews logo

The Book Breeze Mystery Reviews: Death Takes A Mistress

Magic Island Literary Works, 2nd in the Dan & Rivka Sherman Mystery Series, Reviewed February 3, 2015

Breeze Mystery Review #One: Fast forward to 2005.Ivy Cohen was raised by the neighbor that her mother left her with many years ago. Happy and loved, Ivy is a well-adjusted college graduate with a mission. She is determined to find her father—the man who murdered her mother. The only clues she has to go by are old police reports, her mother's journal and a box from an Annapolis store that was left at the crime scene. Ivy heads for Maryland with more courage and determination than money. She quickly finds a job as a clerk at The Olde Victorian Bookstore working for Dan and Rivka Sherman. The job is a perfect fit. She quickly finds the Sherman's intrigued with her story and quest to find her father. They have a connection to Scotland Yard and the couple quickly agrees to help Ivy obtain a copy of her mother's diary.Once it arrives, Ivy discovers that her father probably belongs to one of four families. Impatiently, she stirs the hornet's nest of possible relatives by announcing her plans to find the person that murdered her mother. Her plan works. Someone attacks her to get to the diary, and that is just the beginning of the events leading towards the end of her quest—or maybe even her life.

This is the second in the Mild's Dan & Rivka Sherman Mystery Series. It reads fine as a stand-alone novel, with just enough references to the first book in the series (Death Goes Postal) to pique my interest but not give away the plot. Death Takes A Mistress is a delightfully twisted tale of intrigue. Every time I thought I knew who the killer was, a plot twist would make me second-guess my conclusion. I didn't know for sure until the final chapters, which makes the mystery lover in me very happy. The characters were fun and believable. Even secondary characters like the woman who rents Ivy a room have personalities that made me connect with them. The bad boys that weren't all bad and the good boys who are actually bad are exceedingly well done and true-to-life. I am looking forward to reading more books by the Milds.

Five Star Review by Laura Hartman, Copyright © 2014

*  1  *

Breeze Mystery Review #Two: This is the 1st book I have read by the Milds. Set in London and in Annapolis Md., this is a fast paced book. Ivy crosses the ocean to find her mother's murderer, and also to find her birth father. Luckily of Ivy she finds a job at The Olde Victorian Book Store, which is owned by Dan and Rivka Sherman. Rivka and Dan become more than just friends to Ivy, helping Ivy on her quest for the truth. I have not read the 1st book in this series, Death Goes Postal. But if Death Takes a Mistress is any sign of another good book, I will soon be looking for it.

Five Star Review by Tess

*  2  *

Breeze Mystery Review #Three: This second book in the Milds' successful Sherman Mystery Series again shows their ability to create a good cozy mystery. Death Takes A Mistress does a good job of getting into and out of the backstory in an active scene set in 1982 London, England. By chapter two, the story shifts promptly to the meat of the story in 2005, introducing the murdered woman's daughter, Ivy, who had the good fortune to be left with a kind and loving babysitter at the time of the murder. The babysitter and her husband raise Ivy. Now, twenty-three-years old and graduating from college, Ivy is determined to reopen the case of her mother's death, which, everyone but her seems to have forgotten.

Following the few clues—1982 police reports, a journal of her mother's, and a box from the crime scene with an Annapolis, Maryland address, Ivy is off the United States tout de suite. The pacing is well done in this book, and as any lover of a good cozy knows, it delivers what Ivy needs in the way of a support system. She finds a job on her arrival in Maryland in The Olde Victorian Bookstore replete with the eccentric couple—pseudo sleuths—who own it, Dan and Rivka Sherman. The Milds, once again, treat us with their strong ability to create and make us believe in their fictional characters—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Solving this crime will not be easy, even with the help of the Shermans' connections at Scotland Yard in England. Clues are found and stolen, four families filled with likely suspects present themselves, attempts are made on Ivy's life, and the Sherman's get a shock or two along the way. A good read.

This Three star review was provided by Mahala Church for her column Barefoot Reviews in the February 2015 issue of The Book Breeze.

*  3  *
Bitten by Books logo
Bitten by Books Review posted by Aymee, November 11, 2014

When a young British immigrant shows up looking for work, Dan and Rivka Sherman decide she is the perfect fit for the clerk opening at the Olde Victorian Bookstore. Had they known she'd crossed the Atlantic bent on ferreting out her mother's killer, they might not have been so eager to hire her. But since she is here, what is the harm in helping a girl out, right?

Dan and Rivka are a bit at odds during this book, leaving their almost too-harmonious relationship of the first book behind them. This is not a bad thing though, seeing as Rivka, and Dan, to a point, went through such a traumatic experience in the last half of the previous novel. Even though Death Takes A Mistress takes place quite a while after Death Goes Postal, it is good to see that Rivka has not miraculously recovered and is suffering no ill effects at all. This situation adds to the realism of the story, as well as gives you assurance that not every relationship is a perfect one.

Ivy Cohen is a recent immigrant from England, searching for the key to her past. For the most part, she is a very likable girl. She is intelligent, funny, and easygoing, though at the beginning, she is a bit too pushy. I think that, in her situation, pushiness might be expected, but I was very happy when she lightened up a bit and let things happen in their own time.

Unlike the previous novel, the mystery critique group had less of a showing this time around, allowing Dan, Rivka and Ivy more opportunity to solve the mystery on their own. I liked having fewer hands in the pot, so to speak, as it kept the storyline a bit tidier and easier to follow. Although, it was nice to see those familiar faces again, including that of the store cat, Lord Byron.

One of my favorite additions to this book was Ivy's motherís diary and how they used it to figure out who her father was. It was an interesting concept and led them astray a few times, only to help them get right back on track. Death Takes A Mistress was a funny and engaging cozy mystery set in my favorite of places, a book store.

*  4  *

New Book Journal Reviews

New Book Journal Reviews, Nov. 25, 2012

Death Takes A Mistress, the latest book by husband-and-wife mystery novelists Rosemary and Larry Mild, is now available nationwide. A sizzling new tale destined to get pulses pounding, Death Takes A Mistress features husband-and-wife bookstore owners Dan and Rivka Sherman, reluctant sleuths who find themselves tangled up in a twisty mystery that's remained unsolved for over twenty years. In Bath, England, young mother Lainee Cohen is brutally murdered, her life tragically cut short by the married man whose baby she bore after he demanded that she abort it. Scotland Yard finds Lainee's diary, but the case turns cold. Twenty-three years later, Lainee's daughter, Ivy, seeks revenge on the lover who murdered her mother and deserted her at age three months.

Ivy follows the cold case clues from London, England to Annapolis, Maryland, where she discovers that her father belongs to one of four families. But which one? When she accepts a job at The Olde Victorian Bookstore, Dan and Rivka Sherman's shop, Ivy finds friendship, advice, and stern guidance. The Shermans are quickly drawn into the mystery and use their former connections at Scotland Yard to obtain Ivy's motherís diary. But the diary, filled with shocking entries, is soon stolen. It seems Dan and Rivka may be getting way too close to the truth. In her quest for answers, Ivy causes fear and havoc in the four families—and that alone is enough to put her own life in jeopardy. But as the danger escalates and the case heats up, Dan and Rivka find more questions than answers. Could the Shermans have unearthed something dangerous? What if they are able to get the diary back? Could the diary contain the clues they need to expose the killer? And are some secrets best left buried?

An edge-of-the-seat tale filled with action, suspense and intrigue, Death Takes A Mistress is a marvelous, masterful and mesmerizing mystery. Dan and Rivka Sherman, the charming reluctant sleuths who took center stage in Death Goes Postal, bring a delightful and refreshing spin on what it really means to be partners in crime.

*  5  *
Futures Mystery Magazine logo
Death Takes a Mistress by Rosemary and Larry Mild

In 1982 Bath, England, Wayne Sachs comes home from work to see the door to his neighbor Lainee Cohen's flat open. He mentions it to his wife Janie who is worried about the young single mom as Lainee is running late to pick up her three month old infant Ivy. The couple enters the apartment only to find Lainee's corpse. The Sachs raise Ivy along with their own two children as part of the family while the homicide goes cold with the only vague clue involving a Jewish family in Annapolis, Maryland.

In 2005, Ivy heads to the States seeking to locate her paternal family with one goal in mind: find her mom's lover (her biological father) who killed her. Ivy obtains a clerk position at The Olde Victorian Bookstore owned and run by Dan and Rivka Sherman; and through them a room at the Widow Riley's house, a place where Rivka was held prisoner (see Death Goes Postal). Reluctantly Ivy admits her reason for being in Maryland. Dan's lawyer-friend Joel Wise obtains 1979-1983 records that list families starting a business in Annapolis. Rivka and Dan reduce the potential number to four. However, someone is not just unwelcoming as this person tries to kill the Englishwoman.

The second Dan and Rivka Sherman cozy is a super cold case mystery (it went frozen twenty-three years ago) wrapped inside a family drama as Ivy learns what matters in life, how fortunate she has been with people caring for and about her, and that revenge is insignificant. The keys to this fabulous tale are the amateur sleuthing seems genuine and Ivy keeps the storyline focused as refreshingly the prime player.

Reviewed by Harriet Klausner, Nov. 2014

*  6  *
Long and Short Reviews logo

Long and Short Reviews: Reviewed by Stephanotis, Rating: 4 Stars

Death Takes a Mistress by Rosemary and Larry Mild

After twenty-three years, the daughter of a mistress seeks revenge from the murderous lover who killed her mother and deserted her at age three months. Ivy, the daughter, follows the cold case clues from London, England to Annapolis, Maryland where she discovers that her father and killer belong to one of four families. But which one? Ivy seeks employment as a clerk at The Olde Victorian Bookstore where she finds friendship, advice, love, and caution from Dan and Rivka Sherman, the booksellers. The Shermans use their old connections at Scotland Yard to obtain Ivy's motherís diary, but it is soon stolen. Will they get it back? Does it contain the clues they need? Will Ivy cause fear and havoc in the four families—enough to put her own life in jeopardy?

If I only had four words to describe Death Takes a Mistress they would be "what a fun book". It reminded me of a whodunit of days gone by with an interesting plot peppered with a host of equally interesting characters. This was the first book I'd read by the authors and my first introduction to their sleuths Dan and Rivka Sherman. They run a bookstore which I felt like I was actually in and snooping around. They are likeable, well developed characters who I'd like to read more about in the future. The secondary characters in this book were also well developed. Some were more likeable than others but all had an interesting story to be told which kept me turning the pages. As the story progressed I found myself reading on trying to figure out whom Ivy's father was and if he had in fact, murdered her mother. The setting of this story is great too and I liked the sub-plot of the mystery writing group. As with all fun whodunnits there are some clues that lead you off track and a good sprinkling of humor. During the last five chapters or so I kept reading to see if I figured out correctly who the guilty person was. It had a satisfying ending and a nice closure for Ivy. It has left me eager to see what the authors have in store next for Dan and Rivka.

If you like a classic whodunit I think you'll enjoy this one.

*  7  *