Title: Sweet Cream Ladies, Ltd.
Author: Flo Fitzpatrick
Genre: Mystery, Comedy
Date of Publication: May 15, 2019
Publisher: Encircle Publications LLC
Bootsie and Binnie are two average middle-aged actresses with ex-husbands and professional rivals that they love to complain about. While getting drunk at a bar in Manhattan, they jokingly plan to create a hitwoman company–Sweet Cream Ladies, Limited–and off their enemies in creatively violent ways. But if it was all a joke, then how come these people are dying off–in the exact same ways that the ladies humorously plotted?
For this review, I put language first, because the way this book is written is what will make it or break it for a reader. Either you love it because of this writing style, or you hate it.
This novel has an intriguing premise that is well-executed. That said, the dialogue is very heavily laden with pop-culture references that are a little before my time. As a classic movie buff (I love films from the 40s, 50s, 60s), I understood and greatly appreciated those references, but a lot of the other ones flew over my head. Still, I appreciate the amount of time Flo Fitzpatrick took into carefully crafting a witty repartee between Bootsie and Binnie.
There is also a lot of puns and wordplay that make the text slower to read. Sometimes it is a little overdone, and it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. Like I said in the beginning of this section, if you love this kind of writing, then this book is for you!
I really did appreciate certain parts of the prose. There are a lot of repeating gags, which cracked me up every time. For instance, every time a detective or someone other than the two main characters mention “Sweet Cream Ladies”, Bootsie or Binnie would interject to say “Limited!”, no matter the scenario. Even when their lives are on the line, and they’re trying to figure out how to get out of the pickle they’ve gotten themselves into, they take the time to correct people on the name of their hitwoman company. Ridiculous, which is a good word to use to describe this book. (Ridiculously HILARIOUS, but that would be two words).
As mentioned in the “Language” section, the plot moved a little slower than you would expect from this type of novel because of the surplus of puns and references. That said, there are intriguing twists and turns in the storyline, including a surprising twist that I didn’t see coming, which led to a thrilling conclusion to the novel.
There is an adorable romance that brews between Bootsie and the detective on their case. As with most of the novel, the focus is on their verbal interactions, and we don’t get much introspection about their romance that isn’t encumbered by wordplay.
Unfortunately because of the heavy emphasis on a unique and remarkable language style, I found that the character development was lacking. That is to say: there was none. Because the emphasis of this book is so clearly on its humorous language, I won’t go into depth about how two-dimensional Bootsie and Binnie appear to be in the story.
I recommend this book to those looking for a fun book about two women creating their own hitwoman company, and those who appreciate witty puns and wordplay in their beach reads.
*Thank you to Encircle Publications LLC and NetGalley for the ARC for review*
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