Review: Matchpoint by Elise Sax

Matchpoint by Elise SaxFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: ebook, mass market paperback
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: The Matchmaker, #2
Length: 290 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Date Released: July 30, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

Since joining the family matchmaking business run by her eccentric Grandma Zelda, Gladie is always looking for love. But when an unbearable toothache knocks her out of commission and into the dentist’s chair, she prays only for relief. No such luck. Emerging from an anesthetic haze, Gladie awakes to find that not only is her tooth still throbbing, but her dentist is dead—and the lead suspect in the murder, office receptionist Belinda, just so happens to be Gladie’s first real client. Now it’s up to Gladie to find Belinda a man and keep her from being locked up behind bars.

As if that weren’t enough distraction, two gorgeous men are vying for Gladie’s attention: Spencer, the playboy chief of police, and Holden, Gladie’s secretive, gorgeously muscled neighbor. Still, Gladie’s not complaining about having a helping hand or two when the case leads her to a dangerously bizarre cult. She may have met her match—and if she’s not careful, it could be her last.

My Review:

I sympathize with Gladie, I don’t like going to the dentist either! But Matchpoint is about way more than a bloody clever way to avoid getting your teeth drilled.

Gladys Burger is California’s answer to Stephanie Plum. And so far (this is Gladie’s second case) it’s a damn good answer. Because Gladie seems to be making up her mind about a few things. And her zany relatives are both fewer in number and considerably on the sane side of the fence.

Gladie has come to Cannes, California to go into the matchmaking business with her Grandma Zelda. Not only does Zelda really have a gift for making matches, she’s positive that Gladie has it too. So far, Gladie has caught more murderers than she’s matched couples (see An Affair to Dismember for details of Gladie’s first case, oops, I meant match).

Everyone in town remembers Gladie’s gift for matching murderers with police handcuffs, so they want her to catch the killer this time, too. Especially since Gladie was right there at the scene of the crime. Unfortunately, she was knocked out by anesthesia while someone offed the dentist and removed his face. She just had the misfortune to find his faceless (not headless, faceless!) corpse.

Faces are a big deal in this case. One of the two men possibly vying for Gladie’s affections (of course there are two) is the hot manwhore police chief, who is being chased by all the women on Facebook (yes, I do mean Facebook) who all think they are “in a relationship” with him. There’s a “Keystone Kops” aspect to the chase that is much funnier than it should be.

Gladie’s other romantic possibility is her mysterious next-door-neighbor, the man with no past.

And the aliens have invaded Cannes. Okay, they’re not really aliens. It’s a cult that believes the aliens are about to arrive in their UFO. The townspeople are ready to murder the entire bunch of alien-lovers.

But no one is hunting the dentist’s face-stealing murderer. Except Gladie. Naturally, there is someone hunting her. Because no one involved in this comedy of suspenseful errors is exactly who they seem to be. Except Gladie.

Escape Rating B: Matchpoint is every bit as much fun as An Affair to Dismember (review here), or possibly even a bit more.

An Affair to Dismember by Elise SaxGladie has been with her Grandma Zelda four months, and she is starting to settle into life in Cannes. The author has got her characters and background built too. The story is just a bit tighter than the first book, and everything clips along just that much faster.

The citizens of Cannes are an absolute hoot. The sideplot of the police chief’s sleeping around was not just funny but built on the characterization from Affair, as did the hilarious send-up of the Trouble wedding.

I could still do with a bit less of Gladie’s fat-shaming, but the quotes from Zelda’s matchmaker’s tips that start each chapter are winners every single time.

There is a mystery in Matchpoint, and it’s not obvious. The red herrings were quite carefully planted. I kind of figured out who towards the end, but definitely not why. The alien lovers proved a terrific distraction, even if I never did figure out quite what they were up to. Or care. Watching them drive the townspeople into a tizzy was much too much fun.

Most importantly Gladie made a romantic decision, which I will not reveal. It made sense in the context of the overall story arc. I just wonder if she sticks to it. And if he proves that he’s capable and worthy of being stuck to in the long run. In the short run (or short bed bounce) both Gladie’s choices were definitely yummy!

Matchpoint tour banner

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2 thoughts on “Review: Matchpoint by Elise Sax

  1. This blogger/trailer/reviewer says that Elise Sax’s writing style is similar to Janet Evanovich and Jennifer Crusie. OH BOY!!!!!!! I’m already in love with the aforementioned authors, so I will probably love Elise’s works too. I’m so glad she was introduced to me today…..wheee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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