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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Mayhem In High Heels (High Heels Mysteries, Book 5) by Gemma Halliday
Chick Lit published by Making It 30 Dec 08

What a difference a year makes.  I read and reviewed the fourth book in this series, Alibi in High Heels, in February 2008.  I gave that book a B grade and said Maddie, the heroine, was a breath of fresh air.  A year later Maddie irritated me more than anything else in reading this current book.

Maybe it’s the storyline that’s the difference.  In reading my past review, things about that book came back to me.  Maddie was the suspect in the crime read about, so she couldn’t rely on the French police to clear her, she had to do that herself.  So she was pretty motivated not to give in and kept digging to find the real culprit.  After she’s cleared of any wrongdoing, her boyfriend, Jack Ramirez, proposes and that’s where Mayhem picks up, Maddie getting ready for their wedding in just a few days’ time.

But that Maddie is now letting people walk all over her, deciding for her everything about her wedding.  It’s her wedding planner who ends up being the victim this time around so that Maddie can then investigate her last murder mystery instead of planning her wedding. When she does have those rare moments of actually doing something for the big day, like tasting the wedding cake, and her fiance doesn’t show much interest, she suddenly begins to have doubts about spending the rest of her life with him. I’d say a good portion of grooms to be show very little interest in planning their wedding, so buck up, Maddie.  You should be showing Jack why he should stick around for you.  Instead, she just heads back into her investigating with her friends, even when Jack asks her stay out of it.

And in her investigation we once again have Felix, aka Tabloid Boy, on the scene.  As far as I’m concerned, Maddie doesn’t deserve Jack for the way she’s always questioning her feelings for Felix.  In the previous book when Ramirez flew all the way to France because Maddie was in trouble, he walked in on those two in a liplock.  He obviously forgave her.  But you’d think she’d stay away from Felix now that she’s home and engaged.

I think it’s just me and Chick Lit.  We don’t get along all that well.  I want more of a hero involved in my story, and when he’s a great, stand-up guy like Ramirez, I want them treated accordingly.   I do, though, like Ms. Halliday’s writing and her humor.  I did laugh out loud a couple of times, though other times I felt she did a number of things a certain way just for the laughs.  Other than that, I just felt let down by this story.

The end of this book didn’t quite work for me either.  It’s the last one in the series, or so the back cover of this ARC I have tells me, and I expected something with a bit more closure.  Granted, Maddie finally gets her wedding her way, so maybe her readers should have gotten to go along on the honeymoon to enjoy the love Maddie finally decides she wants more than adventure.

SandyMGrade: C-

Read reviews of this and other books in the series by following its tag.


Maddie Springer is finally walking down the aisle with the man of her dreams. And she’s got the perfect wedding planner to pull it all off in style. Well, perfect, that is, until the woman winds up dead—murdered in buttercream icing. Suddenly Maddie’s hope of a dream wedding melts faster than an ice sculpture at an outdoor buffet. And when her groom-to-be is assigned the detective in charge of the case, there goes any chance of a honeymoon. Unless, of course, Maddie can find the murderer before her big day. With the help of her fellow fashionista friends, Maddie vows to unveil the cold-blooded killer. Is it the powerful ex-husband, the hot young boy toy, a secret lover from the past, or a billionaire bridezilla on the warpath? As the wedding day grows closer, tempers flare, old flames return, and Maddie’s race to the altar turns into a race against time.

Read an excerpt.

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