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The Misfortune Cookie (Esther Diamond Novels) Mass Market Paperback – 5 Nov 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 394 pages
  • Publisher: Daw Books (5 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756408474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756408473
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.9 x 17.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,243,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This is the fifth in the Esther Diamond series, but each works well as a standalone. And I guarantee you won't be able to read just one. Full of fabulously eccentric characters, magical mystery, and a bit of romance, Polterheist is the perfect holiday read for any urban fantasy fan."--Sci-Fi Chick

"Esther's books are always a mix of humor, scary paranormal adventures, a wacky group of supporting cast and an intense mystery to solve. I can't wait to see what happens to Esther after the holidays."--News and Sentinel

"You have got to love Esther. She is such a fun character to read about. I always enjoy a good laugh and action at the same time, and Ms. Resnick always delivers."--Night Owl Reviews

"It's a fun, frequently goofy, holiday story with more than a touch of satire and just the right edge of supernatural horror to keep things exciting."--"Locus"

"This is the fifth in the Esther Diamond series, but each works well as a standalone. And I guarantee you won't be able to read just one. Full of fabulously eccentric characters, magical mystery, and a bit of romance, Polterheist is the perfect holiday read for any urban fantasy fan."--"Sci-Fi Chick"

"Esther's books are always a mix of humor, scary paranormal adventures, a wacky group of supporting cast and an intense mystery to solve. I can't wait to see what happens to Esther after the holidays."--"News and Sentinel"

"You have got to love Esther. She is such a fun character to read about. I always enjoy a good laugh and action at the same time, and Ms. Resnick always delivers."--"Night Owl Reviews"

"Full of witty banter, mystery, clever characters, and a bit of magic and romance - I can't get enough of these stories. And this latest adventure is no exception." --SciFiChick
"It's another entertaining romp mixed with supernatural mystery, and full of oddball characters and interesting places, this time with a definite Chinese flavor that adds to the fun." --"Locus"
"You have got to love Esther. She is such a fun character to read about. I always enjoy a good laugh and action at the same time, and Ms. Resnick always delivers." --Night Owl Reviews

About the Author

Laura Resnick was born in Chicago, and when she was a teenager her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up in a family of writers, daughter of SF writer Mike Resnick, she never thought she would end up in a writing career, herself. A "cum laude " graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied languages and linguistics. Laura can speak French and Italian. After college, she moved overseas for a few years, where she studed acting at London Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Laura Resnick can be found at sff.net/people/laresnick/.


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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Laura Resnick is back on form with "Misfortune Cookie", her sixth Esther Diamond urban fantasy novel. Resnick cleverly weaves multiple plotlines together, giving the reader more information about Esther and all the supporting characters. This is a page-turner, with gripping subplots about Max's lovelife, Lopez's work and family, Lucky's friends. Almost all the action takes place in a new NYC hotspot, Chinatown. The romance between Esther and Lopez is more original than the last book, which I found to be a satisfying return to form. Well worth paying full-price for!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Misfortune Cookie” is the sixth volume in Laura Resnick’s urban fantasy series starring Esther Diamond, the not-yet-famous New York actress who has an uncanny ability to get mixed up in magical mysteries, which provides us with lots of zany adventures that are part mystery and part supernatural horror with a touch of rom-com added into the mix to spice things up.

The story is, for the most part, set in Chinatown in New York, with Chinese New Year just around the corner, and takes place about a week after the previous volume, “Polterheist,” which ended on Christmas Eve with a new twist to the will-they/won’t-they relationship between Esther and NYPD detective Connor Lopez. Well, it won’t be a big surprise to readers already familiar with these characters that Lopez has managed – for the umpteenth time! – to end up at the top position on Esther’s ‘fecal matter’-list because, even a full week after those events, He-Still-Hasn’t-Called… ouch!

Desperate for some money in the pocket while still hoping for that one breakthrough role of a lifetime, Esther has resumed waiting tables at Bella Stella, the Italian restaurant which also serves as a mobster-hangout. Just when the New Year's Eve festivities are in full gear and at the stroke of midnight, a raid by NYPD's Organized Crime Control Bureau takes place. This leaves Esther out of a job and as icing on the cake, one of the leaders of the raid is - Connor Lopez. This leads to a hilarious confrontation, with Esther ending up in jail. Lopez uses a few tricks to get her free, but as she is still furious with him, this doesn’t improve their relationship one bit.

True to his name, Esther’s friend the semi-retired hit man “Lucky” Battistuzzi has managed to stay out of the hands of the police.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9789fed0) out of 5 stars 37 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x978a8a68) out of 5 stars Your fortune says, you will enjoy this book 6 Nov. 2013
By Anime Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Poor Esther, with no job after Fensters and no word from her desire Detective Lopez she is not having a good end of year. But when her restaurant offers her a shift on New Years Eve, she jumps at it for the tips (a girl has to pay the rent and eat). But things go down when the NYPD comes on a raid with Lopez at the head, and she gives him an earful right in front of everyone (to the police's and the familias enjoyment). But when Lucky (the semi-retired wiseguy, currently hiding in a Italian/Chinese funeral home) asks for her and Max's help after a Chinese tong dies after opening a fortune cookie, they suspect Evil may be the cause. Can she juggle being in a indie movie, find the source of the cookies, and her feelings for Lopez together, especially when a cookie is targeted for him?

It has been a log time since I actually got to sit down an read a book in a day, and I literally ate this one. Laura Resnick keeps the series alive and flowing with entertaining characters, enjoyable scenes, and the one thing most important - the heart of her reluctant heroine. Reading Esthers rant to Lopez in the restaurant, to them talking about things shows that her characters are not one dimensional, but are always evolving - and with the ending as it was I can not wait until the next book and see how things progress. I will give this a must read to anyone
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x978a8cb4) out of 5 stars Fun Fast Paced Delightful Read :) 7 Nov. 2013
By MooncatX aka Bliss Crimson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am really loving this series. I started when the first book was published and look forward to each new installment with excitement. This newest book did not disappoint. I really love the main character Esther Diamond and her determination to make it as a professional actress in New York. She's a fresh and energetic character unlike any other in the same genre. Upbeat and career oriented and with nothing supernatural about her, Esther keeps landing in supernatural related mystery stories and meets adversity and malicious spellcraft with a can do attitude and a commendable focus on her personal career as a working actress. She juggles her not quite mundane professional life with indulging her wild curiosity and innate sense of adventure by teaming up with immortal wizard friend Max to thwart various villainous plots and persons.

Esther loses her in between acting gigs standby job when pn New Year's Eve, her now ex-boyfriend police officer Lopez busts the mob hang out that she works at as a singing waitress. It's the final straw on the camel's back for Esther as Lopez completely forgot to call or make any contact with her after their mad passionate get together on Christmas Eve. Esther gets a heads up from friend and psuedo uncle Lucky, a mob enforcer, who has gone into hiding in China Town, that something supernatural and deadly going on. Not only that, a rare off season acting job is available, which she pounces on with a dedicated focus of a girl who likes to be able to buy food and pay rent. Her acting job and the supernatural murder mystery involving death curses delivered via delicious fancy gourmet fortune cookies dove tail together nicely and provide pure entertainment.

It was a good solid satisfactory read. Esther is fun without being an idiot and well intentioned even while being a bit disaster prone. A girl dedicated to her craft (acting) but willing to step in and join battle against EVIL (with capitals) especially the supernatural kind. This is also a great holiday season read beginning on a New Years Eve (just a week after events of book one that ended on Christmas Eve) and runs through to Chinese New Year.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x978a8c78) out of 5 stars If you have never read an Esther Diamond novel, Don't Start Here! 14 Nov. 2013
By Patrick A. McCombs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's not horrible. But it's not up to Resnick's usual standards either. The opening where Esther confronts her cop boyfriend on his lack of "relationship skills" is hilarious. But after that it seems to drift. We learn about Chinese culture; even feng shui plays a minor role in the mystery. The action at the end is tame. The typical Resnick "cliff hanger" is missing. The mystery is only so-so. I guessed the villian (although not the entire plot) by the first third of the book. There are occasional glimpses of the Resnick wit, but it's mostly a tour of New York's China town. If you're a die-hard Esther Diamond fan (I am) you will have to read this book. But you probably won't have your usual post-novel high. If you are new to this character, start at the beginning (Disappearing Nightly). Read them in order. The series as a whole is extermely enjoyable.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x978a8f6c) out of 5 stars Death by (mis)fortune cookie. 22 Jun. 2014
By D. C. Stolk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"The Misfortune Cookie” is the sixth volume in Laura Resnick’s urban fantasy series starring Esther Diamond, the not-yet-famous New York actress who has an uncanny ability to get mixed up in magical mysteries, which provides us with lots of zany adventures that are part mystery and part supernatural horror with a touch of rom-com added into the mix to spice things up.

The story is, for the most part, set in Chinatown in New York, with Chinese New Year just around the corner, and takes place about a week after the previous volume, “Polterheist,” which ended on Christmas Eve with a new twist to the will-they/won’t-they relationship between Esther and NYPD detective Connor Lopez. Well, it won’t be a big surprise to readers already familiar with these characters that Lopez has managed – for the umpteenth time! – to end up at the top position on Esther’s ‘fecal matter’-list because, even a full week after those events, He-Still-Hasn’t-Called… ouch!

Desperate for some money in the pocket while still hoping for that one breakthrough role of a lifetime, Esther has resumed waiting tables at Bella Stella, the Italian restaurant which also serves as a mobster-hangout. Just when the New Year's Eve festivities are in full gear and at the stroke of midnight, a raid by NYPD's Organized Crime Control Bureau takes place. This leaves Esther out of a job and as icing on the cake, one of the leaders of the raid is - Connor Lopez. This leads to a hilarious confrontation, with Esther ending up in jail. Lopez uses a few tricks to get her free, but as she is still furious with him, this doesn’t improve their relationship one bit.

True to his name, Esther’s friend the semi-retired hit man “Lucky” Battistuzzi has managed to stay out of the hands of the police. As Lucky is co-owner of a funeral parlor in Chinatown, he holes up there, and it’s when he suspects that the recent death of a member of the Chinese tong may be caused by paranormal means that Esther gets involved. Before you know it, more people start to die, and the only clue seems to be a in chocolate drenched fortune cookie that each victim has opened just prior to meeting his fate. So it’s up to Esther, her friend Dr. Maximillian (Max) Zadok, the 350-year-old mage, and his Shetland-pony sized pseudo-canine familiar Nelli, to solve these murders.

As much as I like this series, there are a couple of reasons that kept me from awarding this the full five stars. Firstly, and most noticeable as it has become such a staple of the series, is that there’s not much supernatural horror to be found in the pages of this book. Apart from the mystical dimensions of Lily Yee’s store, the only thing that stood out to me as being out-and-out paranormal was the scene in which Max conducts some tests on the cursed cookie. Secondly, Esther was way too much obsessing about Lopez’s failure to call her. For me at least, all this whining started to grate, especially as this seemed so out of character for a very self-reliant woman like Esther.

Thirdly, there’s way too much info-dump by the author. She’s done her homework on Chinatown (in fact, I would have taken her to task if she hadn’t and wrote some glaring mistakes) but it needs to be an integral part of the story, not something that at times drags the story down to a virtual stand-still because it’s dumped on the reader by the bucket-load instead of in small doses. Fourthly, and I know, Lopez is a very skeptical police detective and this is part of what provides the comedy in this series, but this supposedly ace detective is so oblivious about the supernatural stuff that’s been happening around him for six books now, it’s no longer believable by any stretch of the imagination.

While these are all minor quibbles, lumped together they are enough to make me withhold one star from an otherwise fun read. It does end with a great sequel hook so I’ll be eagerly awaiting the release of “Abracadaver,” the next volume in the series. Judging solely by the title it is – hopefully - a return to form, and it’s planned for publication in November 2014.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Vilia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Take a deep breath before you read this because the plot is kind of crazy. Esther Diamond is in a snit because NYPD Detective Connor Lopez slept with her but didn't call later, busted the mafia linked restaurant where she worked as a singing waitress and then got her arrested for slapping a police officer. She manages to find an acting job in an indie movie which is plagued with bad luck. Someone is dishing out cursed Chinese fortune cookies and Lopez is one of the targets.

Esther somehow has a knack for surviving. She might have lost her job and be down to her last dime but she turns it around by snagging an acting role at a funeral house's visitation for a respected Chinese businessman. She was supposed to be looking for who cursed the man to death but what's an out-of-work actress supposed to do when there is an indie director in the crowd? Esther is very loyal to her friends which is admirable and refuses to turn in mafia enforcer Lucky when she finds him hiding out at the funeral house. Unfortunately she is fixated on the fact that Lopez never called her and can't seem to move beyond it. It might have been amusing once or twice but by the end of the novel I was heartily sick of her immaturity.

Lopez is your classic overworked cop trying to do the right thing. He tried to organise the police bust when Esther wasn't working so she wouldn't be caught up in it but Esther changed shifts. When Esther slapped him and his superior officer, he deliberately mangled the paperwork so that she could be released and he even called in a few favours so the movie could go ahead with the correct permits. I felt really sorry for him because he was doing so much and getting nothing but disdain in return. There are a few hints that Lopez has some kind of mysterious power but it wasn't really explored in depth.

There was an awful lot of filler in this novel with Esther's whining about Lopez. I had hoped that there would be more tension but the murders were all done off stage so to speak with just characters describing what they thought had happened. By removing the reader from the action, it made it harder to get involved and care about the fate of people. We also have an awful lot of history given to us in chunks which was a little unwieldy. The blurb clearly stated that Lopez was a target so I was hoping that this would be the crux of the novel and Esther would risk her life to save him. Things didn't quite turn out like that.

So where do we stand? The book was highly entertaining in parts and so-so in others. The premise was fantastic and many of the secondary characters were quirky and fun. I would have loved if Esther had been a little less of drama queen and we had been given more action. This is a quick read and worth a shot to see if Resnick's zany style suits you.
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