Rebecca Butterman is a psychologist who moonlights as an advice columnist for Bloom! Magazine. Rebecca is still struggling to move past her recent divorce, as well as having to come to grips with a few other personal issues.
Rebecca is shocked when she learns that her next-door neighbor, Madeline, committed suicide, her body lying dead in her bathtub for two days before being discovered. Madeline’s grieving mother, Isabel, talks Rebecca into investigating the suspicious circumstances surrounding her daughter’s suicide. As Rebecca digs deeper into Madeline’s risky lifestyle and sordid background, she makes a few enemies while putting herself in danger.
Roberta Isleib creates a likable, if not somewhat flaky main character with Rebecca Butterman. Although I figured out who the culprit was very early on in the book, Rebecca was utterly clueless until the very end. Since I’d always thought a good psychologist should possess a keen sense of observation and a certain amount of common sense, I had some difficulty buying that Rebecca could be that unaware. And the tearfulness! – Not exactly a great characteristic in a psychologist.
The book dragged a bit here and there, to the point that it became boring at certain points. The funny barbs and comic relief were enjoyable, however. When it came to the part where the “culprit” is revealed, I thought the author did it a little too abruptly, and took a slightly dark turn that didn’t really reflect the rest of the book. Since this was Book One in the series, I’m hoping Books Two and Three were an improvement. Although I wasn’t overly impressed with Deadly Advice, I’d still be willing to give another one of Ms. Isleib’s books a read.
3 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton