Gilda Wright and her friends find themselves in yet another murder mystery predicament. It’s going to take readers some time to realize this because the book is as slow as molasses. Big time Chick Lit warning.

Gilda is perfect, has the perfect boyfriend in Mick Williams, she works with perfect Mick, and Mick has  just hired the perfect man, Kane Garrick, to work as a weapons instructor in his Phoenix Martial Arts School. Kane, like Mick, is also a real hunk and has taken a liking to Gilda. Well, it isn’t Gilda’s fault that she’s so perfect that every perfect man who sees her falls in love with her. Is it?

Things seem to be going well for Gilda and Mick but lately he’s been a little aloof. She doesn’t know what’s wrong and he’s not talking. Typical male. Maybe he’s just a little concerned about the grand opening of his new Martial Arts School which will feature a special guest referee. That is a lot of pressure but no where near the pressure Gilda has when she finds the referee murdered on the beach. I’m sure you figured out that one of the new people would have to be murdered and since Kane is a hunk and a half and also perfect, and maybe Gilda has a tinsey bit of a crush on him, you figured out that Kane would not end up dead but he is the prime suspect to the murder. Of course Gilda starts to investigate, even though Mick begs her not to. Someone has to figure out who the real murderer is to get hunky Kane off the hook.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded it one bit if Kane was left to rot in jail. He is such an annoying character. And what is with that Australian accent he always uses? He was born in the US.  I find him and his false accent intolerable at times. In fact I find most of the characters in “Hardheaded Brunette” by Diane Bator to be intolerable. They live in houses with pools that are also conveniently close to the beach so when they tire of chlorinated water they can easily hop into some salt water. How can they afford to lead such a life with the jobs they hold?

This isn’t the first time I’ve met these characters. I first ran across them in a book of cozy short stories. Didn’t care for them in that story either. I found them almost non existent and kind of flat.

Diane Bator is a good enough writer. She thought of an okay storyline and followed through on it but, for me at least, the characters pulled everything down. I’m not a fan of Chick Lit and this seemed more in the Chick Lit genre than a cozy although it does have cozy elements in it. But not having a favorite character and not caring if one of them ends up in jail or not does not make a fun read. No one to root for.

I wouldn’t say reading “Hardheaded Brunette” was a waste of time but I suspect there’s another cozy out there that I would have enjoyed more.


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