Stuck on You
Patti Berg
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Buy *Stuck on You* online

Stuck on You

Patti Berg
384 pages
January 2003
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Daughter of a famous mystery writer and herself the owner of a quaint little mystery bookstore, Scarlett O’Malley has sleuthing in her blood. She and three old busybodies in the town of Plentiful, Wyoming, consider themselves amateur sleuths and, indeed, have had some little successes, too. Which is why when the very handsome and enigmatic Logan Wolfe makes Plentiful his residence, the old ladies are far too curious to find out everything they can about him and infect Scarlett with their enthusiasm. When no solid information about him can be found, their investigation deteriorates into speculation -- wild speculation, at that. Scarlett finds herself very attracted to Logan, who seems to return her feelings, but she cannot bring herself to ignore the old ladies’ speculations. Then the town’s wealthiest woman, who was seen quite often in Logan’s company, disappears, and Scarlett becomes convinced of Logan’s complicity. To add to her troubles, a mysterious old woman drops dead in her store; Scarlett feels certain she was about to reveal something disquieting right before she died.

Logan Wolfe has come to the small town of Plentiful as a kind of retirement. The troubles and pain of his past life are something he wishes to put far behind him. His only interests are fly-fishing and Elvis songs and memorabilia -- until he walks into Scarlett’s book store and falls hard for the store’s petite, outspoken and attractive owner. The fact that most of the town considers this amateur sleuth to a slightly psychotic and paranoid busybody only makes her more intriguing in his eyes. That is, until he finds that he’s become the focus of her zany investigation. Will their budding relationship fall prey to their mutual distrust? How do the dead woman and Scarlett’s stepfather figure into this crazy picture?

A non-stop sidesplitting screwball of a romantic mystery is the only way to categorize this latest book by Patti Berg. The loopiness and laughter, added to the fact that the mystery is good and unguessable, makes it just about a perfect read. Logan appears like a typical romantic hero; nothing original there. But his imperfections (he sings like a frog) render him not only human, but also more believable. Scarlett, with her bellybutton ring and her suspicious nature, is funny, crazy and convincing. And she provides a lot of fun with her bumbling Nancy Drew aspirations. The side characters in the small town of Plentiful are rendered plausible in their own right, and Plentiful itself, with its closeness and non-stop rumor mill, contributes to the general chaos and confusion. Patti Berg has combined all the right ingredients in the right quantity, and the result is the adorable and unputdownable Stuck on You.

© 2003 by Rashmi Srinivas for Curled Up With a Good Book

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