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Sunday, May 27, 2007

My review of Crime & Clutter by Cyndy Salzmann...

Book Description:
A storage unit, a 1963 Volkswagen minibus, and tattered letters...reveal shattering secrets from the 1960s.

It has been a year since Mary Alice lost her father, the father she never really knew. Now she is stuck cleaning out his rubbish from a storage unit. Just when she would rather it all go away from her well-ordered life, her long-held secret is discovered by the feisty Marina, one of the six members of the Friday Afternoon Club. When these friends make it their mission to help Mary Alice tackle her stash, they arrive at the storage unit, prepared to clean. But what they discover takes them on a riotous ride through the crime and clutter of the sixties, the angst and betrayal of those caught in The Revolution, and the forgiveness that can only come through acceptance of a different kind of Cause.

Includes fun, easy, and tantalizing recipes!

My review:

Crime & Clutter has a totally unique plot, just like Dying to Decorate, the author's first book in the series. It's not often that I find a novel that entertained me as much as this one, yet also had the ability to also keep my attention on both ends. I enjoyed the portions of the story about the hippie experience from the 60's, but really got into reading about the current time as well. And the deep theme of forgiveness in this story will really tug on your heart. Very well done.

Salzmann is great with tongue-in-cheek thoughts and humor. She can get you laughing about what seem like the most mundane things, but she shows you them in a humorous light. In short, I couldn't stop reading this book. It's full of life, has "flavor" and depth, and I savored every page. The recipes were also pretty tasty-sounding. I'm sure my husband, who is the cook in our family, will want to try some of them.

I also appreciated delving into the mindset of the 60s and how that influenced our culture at the time. My husband remembered being in Haight-Asbury at the same time as one of the real-life events that occurred in the story. The author sprinkled just enough history and lingo from that era into her novel to really bring it to life. It was so fun to read, I might even devour it again. If nothing else, it's incredibly practical because the recipes alone make it a keeper. Highly recommended.

Crime & Clutter was published by Howard/Simon & Schuster and released in April 2007.

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