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How to Be Death (Calliope Reaper-Jones Novels) Mass Market Paperback – 28 Feb 2012

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An exhilarating, fast-paced "Whodunit".. 28 Feb. 2012
By Theresa - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Calliope Reaper-Jones never imagined the one thing she avoided like a plague would end up fulfilling her life-long dreams of buying designer clothes -without the inevitable diet of ramen noodles to cover the cost- and dating hot guys. Who knew "Death" had so many perks?

Our once reluctant protagonist is dressed to the nines and eager to attend her first official outing as President and CEO of Death Inc. playing hostess for a Masquerade Party and Dinner at the Haunted Hearts Castle. First thing on the agenda: Prove she can handle the job. Second: Make her former boyfriend, Daniel, eat his heart out. She has a slutty rhinestone bikini that should do the trick! The tables are quickly turned however, when she discovers Daniel isn't at the party alone; a possessive paramour is on his arm. That proves to be the least of her worries when the annotated copy of "How To Be Death" is stolen and bodies start dropping like beads at Marti Gras. It's a race against time as Callie, Jarvis, Runt (Hooray!) and Freezay, a quirky retired detective, search for a vicious killer and thief before the stroke of midnight signals the end of Halloween and, possibly, the beginning of the end for all humanity.

This time around, the main focus is on the Aztec Pantheon which is particularly fitting for the story-line. Several intriguing new characters are introduced, most with secrets and/or hidden agendas. One of the dinner guests shares a brow raising revelation that is subtly hinted at in early chapters. I would love to comment further on that, and several other interesting character developments, but I don't want to spoil the fun for anyone. I'm thrilled that Callie's adorable side-kick, Runt, had a larger role in the story and also enjoyed the addition of former detective and old family friend, Freezay. Hope to see more of both these characters in the next book!

Hold on to your hat, and your heart, as pieces to this mysterious puzzle fly in rapid succession making you *scratch your head* more often than Cerberus with a case of fleas! Amber Benson does a fantastic job providing hints throughout and tying everything together at the conclusion of this exhilarating, fast-paced "Whodunit".

I was fully immersed in this "CLUE" style mystery from the first page to the last and "How to be Death" is my favorite of the series so far. It would help to read the first three installments but isn't essential as Amber provides enough back-story to get new readers up to speed or refresh your memory after a year's wait following the release of Serpent's Storm. I highly recommend it for Urban Fantasy readers and fans of the Mystery genre.

*Cambridge definition* :)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Ms. Death Solves a Murder 5 Mar. 2012
By J. Dzwigalski - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Not ashamed to admit that I enjoy the Calliope Reaper-Jones (aka Death) series, Amber Benson's take on the paranormal romance/supernatural/urban fantasy genre. The characters are imaginative, sarcastic and interesting and the stories have a creative playfulness that I really enjoy. Plus they're quick, fun reads.

This book read as more of a straight-up "whodunnit" than the last few, borrowing some of the more popular murder-mystery motifs (locked room mystery, retired policeman to solve the crime and plenty of femme fatales), while also adding to the Death-lore of the series.

Will now wait patiently to find out what happens next to Calliope and Death Inc.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Dinner With Death 12 May 2012
By Summer40 - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Amber Benson was smart enough to use one of her most beloved characters in her latest novel. Runt, the talking hellhound, is the pooch that everyone will adore. Other characters such as Jarvis (I miss his faun body), Daniel, Kali and even Calliope take a major backseat to characters that are not well-rounded,not interesting and unnecessary. I missed the Calliope from the past who encountered danger from every corner and handled it with stealth determination. In this novel, Calliope acts like she has no idea what she's doing. If the story involves an elaborate dinner party, shouldn't the author detail the food more so than the party dress? It was a labor of love trying to finish this book. Benson will come back with a stronger premise for Calliope.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Calliope Reaper-Jones #4 1 Mar. 2012
By SciFiChick - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Calliope Reaper-Jones is the new President of Death, Inc., following the murder of her father. She is given her father's original copy of How to be Death (A Fully Annotated Guide), and is told to keep it safe and hidden since it holds incredible secrets. But Callie must survive the night as a mortal during a formal dinner party and ceremony that quickly gets uncomfortable. Callie's ex-boyfriend is there with another woman. Then, her book is stolen about the same time someone is murdered in Callie's bedroom.

How to be Death is the fourth novel in the Calliope Reaper-Jones series. And unlike the previous installments, this reads like a clever whodunit. As always, Callie gets herself in outrageous situations with mostly humorous outcomes. My favorite part of this clever, urban fantasy series is the zany wit and eccentric characters. And this fast-paced, suspenseful mystery is no exception. Full of twists and surprises, I thoroughly enjoyed Callie's latest escapade. Urban fantasy fans should not miss this light-hearted, exciting series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent storywriting 2 Nov. 2012
By Devin W. Rowland - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent storyline. Great continuation of the Calliope Reaper-Jones series. Would highly recommend the entire series to anybody. Amber Benson is as good an author as she is an actor.
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