Of Course You Know That Chocolate is a Vegetable and Other Stories

Of Course You Know That Chocolate is a Vegetable and Other Stories

by Barbara D'Amato


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A powerful short story collection from Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award-winning Barbara D'Amato.

Playwright, novelist, and crime researcher Barbara D'Amato currently writes two mystery series. One features Chicago patrol officers Suze Figueroa and Norm Bennis, whose adventures on the streets of Chicago supply six of the twelve stories in this collection. And in "See No Evil," the partners encounter the heroine of D'Amato's other popular series, freelance investigative reporter Cat Marsala. Cat appears again doing a Washington exposé in "Freedom of the Press."

In "Dolley Madison and the Staff of Life," the First Lady uses her considerable deductive powers to solve a murder among the staff. A reporter reminisces about his big break, an interview alone with Greta Garbo, in "I Vant to Be Alone." The title story, in which a writer takes revenge on a reviewer, won the 1999 Agatha, Macavity, and Anthony Awards.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

You're in good company when you're with Officers Suze Figueroa and Norm Bennis of the Chicago Police Department, or with freelance reporter Cat Marsala—and they're on hand for most of the 12 tales collected here (six for the cops, one for Cat, one in which Cat improbably investigates a complaint against the cops). Especially in dealing with Figueroa and Bennis, D'Amato (Help Me Please, 1999, etc.) repeatedly strikes a fine balance between warm domesticity and authentic detail. The problem is the anemic plots. Most of the stories, from "Shelved" to "Soon to Be a Minor Motion Picture," turn on a single forgettable clue: "The Lower Wacker Hilton" recycles one of the oldest urban legends around; "Hard Feelings" and "See No Evil" work the same deception twice (and readers will see it coming the second time). When D'Amato works outside the box, the results once again are atmospheric rather than rigorous. Dolley Madison turns up to solve a White House mystery by noticing a single telltale clue; a hard-bitten reporter remembers the magical time of his flat (and noncriminal) interview with Greta Garbo; a honeymoon couple stops at a motel on Route 66—with horrific, though wildly unlikely, results. As for the award-winning, slenderly plotted title story, in which a disgruntled author gets her revenge on a curmudgeonly reviewer, you're certainly not going to read anything unkind about it here.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628152371
Publisher: Speaking Volumes, LLC
Publication date: 02/18/2015
Pages: 182
Sales rank: 1,115,543
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)

Customer Reviews