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Deadly Pleasure Mass Market Paperback – 1 Mar 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 359 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312977689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312977689
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.5 x 17.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,237,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second installment of Brenda Joyce Deadly series. I have not read the first one and I still liked this one enough to order no three. Francesca -our heroine- wants to be a "Crime-solver Extraordininarie" in New York 1902, an ambition that is not well received by her high society family.
The action is fastpace enough to keep the pages turning, the love story better than in other books by this author. This series seems to be inspired by J.D Robbs "In Death" series. It does not promise to be as good - but certainly good enough. I liked it - and the series form certainly gives the author more opportunity to let the love story unfold at it's own pace.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Decent delivery and great price.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fluff Light - With Some Interesting Characters! 20 Sept. 2005
By Jana L.Perskie - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Francesca Cahill is a member of New York City's social elite at the turn of the 20th century, 1902 to be exact. She lives in a Fifth Avenue mansion, with her parents and older brother, attends glittering society balls and fundraisers, and allows herself, occasionally, to be courted by the town's most eligible bachelors. However, she is a marginal player, at best, in the comings and goings of Manhattan's rich and famous, to her mother's dismay. Francesca is a bluestocking, an unfashionable female intellectual, and is determined to do something with her mind other than plan dinner parties. Unbeknownst to her mother, she has enrolled in Barnard College with aspirations to become a journalist. Recently, however, coinciding with newly appointed police commissioner Rick Bragg's move to New York, Francesca has taken to sleuthing....and her grades are suffering as a result.

"Deadly Love," Brenda Joyce's first mystery in this series, preceding "Deadly Pleasure," introduced the cast of characters who people Francesca's life. Miss Cahill also solves her first crime in book one, a child's kidnapping which could have turned lethal, and she begins what seems to be an intense mutual attraction with the extremely charismatic Commissioner Bragg. I panned this first novel, (barely 2 Stars), so many people, including myself, may wonder why on earth I would bother reading this second installment, which is an improvement, but not by much. It is because, although our heroine is silly, (at times beyond belief), immature, indiscreet, and melodramatic, and the mysteries are filled with too many coincidences to suit my taste, the secondary characters are absolutely fascinating. Their ongoing stories do make these books worth reading - very light reading, mind you!

Francesca had calling/business cards printed by Tiffany reading, "Francesca Cahill, Crime-Solver Extraordinaire, No. 810 Fifth Avenue, New York City, All Cases Accepted, No Crime Too Small." Cute? Not! And she passes these cards out all over town! This is supposedly a brilliant, serious minded young woman of the upper classes, not a merchant's daughter, who wants to keep her sleuthing a secret from her family? I am embarrassed for her and the author.

A recipient of one of these Tiffany embossed cards, Miss Georgette de Labouche, leaves a note for Francesca requesting her immediate assistance on a most urgent matter. The matter turns out to be a dead body, the corpse of Miss Labouche's wealthy, longtime lover. The unhappy woman is more concerned with getting rid of the body than with discovering the identity of the killer. Fran sends Joel, the child pickpocket she has hired as an assistant to get the police. Commissioner Bragg is delighted to see Francesca again, but exasperated to find her involved in yet another crime. The attachment between these two continues to develop, but for some reason, Rick is unable to court her or declare his feelings, except as a friend.

The most interesting part of the book is the introduction of Rick's half brother, the wealthy rake Calder Hart. Actually the man is much more complex, which is why he is such a compelling figure. Both Rick and Calder are illegitimate, with different fathers and the same mother, and they do not get along at all. The relationship between these two, and their individual lives and backgrounds, are fascinating. Evan Cahill, Francesca's older brother, is another engaging character. He is a smart, caring man, but flawed - with a tendency to gamble and accumulate debts. In fact he has got himself in way over his head and owes a fortune. Andrew Cahill, the family patriarch, a savvy businessman and affectionate father, (pulled himself up by the bootstraps), has agreed to pay off the debts only if Evan agrees to marry a young woman he does not love, nor even care to become better acquainted with. His fiancee has unseen depth, however, and is a brilliant artist, but only Francesca is aware of this. Then there is Constance, the beautiful big sister, married to the very handsome British Lord Neil Montrose, who Francesca has discovered "in flagrante" with another woman. The clan's maternal force, Julia Cahill, is an extremely strong character determined to marry-off her children well.

The series' premise is a winner - a society girl/college student sleuth in 1902 NYC. But Ms. Joyce foundered badly in her first novel and has not improved much here. "Deadly Pleasure," the main plot, is not very complex or suspenseful. And PLEASE, if Francesca is supposed to be intelligent, work on her character so that she comes off as a smart young woman with a good head on her shoulders! It seems that more time is spent describing the heroine's wardrobe than developing a suspenseful plot and the principal character. In one instance, the author goes on at length about a peach colored evening gown. On the next page the same dress has mysteriously turned mint green. It seems that Ms. Joyce is churning-out a "Deadly series" novel 3 times a year. The results are formulaic and sloppy. I get angry because the series has such possibilities. Also, fans of light reading do understand the difference between quality and trash. Never underestimate us!

I am still intrigued by the Cahill family and those who touch their lives. Save your time and money with this one. But it is only the second in a series, so perhaps Ms. Joyce will hit her stride. The setting and concept, and certainly the characters, are worth another try. I will let you know after book three - and if there is no great improvement there, I quit!

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Easy Summer Reading 10 July 2016
By Jean De Rosa - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy the adventures of Francesca Cahill. Thank you for the easy and pleasurable reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 Aug. 2016
By Rasa - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Super fast shipping!! Love this series
5.0 out of 5 stars Brenda Joyce is a fantastic Author. 24 April 2014
By Mary E. Jones - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As I have stated on past reviews I enjoy all of Brenda Joyce books. She is a great Author. I will get more as I can.
5.0 out of 5 stars Deadly Series 14 Aug. 2013
By Sandra Johnson - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great series. Brenda Joyce is a very good writer. I love all of her books that I have read.
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