Books by Denise Dietz

STRANGLE A LOAF OF ITALIAN BREAD by Denise Dietz
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 15, 2009

"Dietz (Chain a Lamb Chop to Bed, 2005, etc.) has created some amusing characters in search of a plot coherent enough to showcase their talents."
A diet-club leader with a taste for crime investigates a murder. Read full book review >
BEAT UP A COOKIE by Denise Dietz
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 1994

The second Ellie Bernstein mystery is just as heavy-handed and empty of witty repartee as the first (Throw Darts at a Cheesecake, 1992), and it's saddled with an even more pedestrian plot. Bernstein is a wonderful heroine—a collection of opportunities lost. Now that she's gotten rid of her philandering husband and kept off those extra 55 pounds, she can revel in her job, her earthy affair with Lt. Miller, and her search for the serial killer drawn to M*A*S*H character look-alikes. Although Dietz manages to connect the killer's inner turmoil over infidelity to Bernstein's, nothing is made of it, and the various villains are sketched so lightly as to be almost invisible. Bernstein herself is only potentially interesting. Dietz has the right character, the right lover, and a sharp eye for the humorous detritus of American life; she knows how to pick the elements, but not what to do with them. There is no cat-and-mouse game between Bernstein and the killer, no good puzzles or red herrings. Lacking a real commitment to both characters and craft. Better luck next time. Read full book review >
THROW DARTS AT A CHEESECAKE by Denise Dietz
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

Why is someone murdering all the members at or near their goal weights in Ellie Bernstein's Weight Winner's club, and does this mean she's next? Ellie, who became the group leader after losing 55 pounds, meets Lt. Peter Miller, Colorado Springs Homicide, who warns her not to try to solve the murders herself—but does she listen? Ellie is soon jogging after a skicap-wearing perp, chatting up past and current Weight Winners, and running afoul of the psycho disguised as the Cookie Monster at the club fete. There will be five slayings and two failed attempts before Ellie and Peter, bleeding from knife and gun wounds, collapse into each other's arms...while the wacko lies motionless on the floor. Heavy-handed, most unfunny attempt at humor—with a sequel in the works. The manic heroine, tedious pacing, and witless jokes about food and weight make for a sorry debut. Read full book review >