Revenge of the Gypsy Queen Hardcover – Jul 1999
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From Library Journal
Neri introduced amateur sleuth Tracy Eaton in an award-winning short story entitled "L.A. Justice." Now Tracy merits a full-length adventure as she and her husband, visiting New York for a family wedding, become involved in various far-fetched schemes. A black sheep uncle appears, the bride-to-be goes missing, police drag Tracy in for questioning, and someone delivers a quirky ransom note involving a trendy restaurant. In a chatty, rambunctious, and wryly humorous style, Tracy narrates a tale that will captivate readers with sharply drawn characters, continual action, and unlikely circumstances. A real treat.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
" . . . an enjoyable, light read with an engaging protagonist. Recommended." -- Lincoln NE Star Journal 7/99
" . . . the contrast between the lively Tracy and her repressed in-laws produces some one-liners that would make Fran Liebowitz proud. A fine first novel and a nice complement to Marissa Piesman's Nina Fischman series. " -- Booklist - American Library Association, 7/99
" . . . the sunrise of what will be many capers that amuse, intrigue and captivate -- bet you can't put it down! . . . characters are masterfully vivid . . . word pictures that creep inside your mind. Everyone is suspect; everyone is friend. Don't miss the next Carolyn Hart in her debut fired straight at our hearts!" -- Barbara Lakey, publisher, FUTURES Magazine 8/99
". . . a light romp, reminiscent of the books by Donna Andrews and G. M. Ford. . . . a delightful read, one I can heartily recommend. . . . a book I kept trying to cast as a movie. What potential this would have on the big screen! Imagine Marisa Tomei as the errant bride who's actually named Marisa and Alec Baldwin as Tracy Eaton's rock solid, blue-blood husband, Drew. What fun! Rush to your local bookstore and demand they order REVENGE OF THE GYPSY QUEEN by Kris Neri. And tell them to get a few extra copies in for the other readers, too. Try it, you'll like it! I sure did." -- Geraldine Galentree, The Mystery Book Store, Dallas, TX 7/99
"Neri introduced amateur sleuth Tracy Eaton in an award-winning short story entitled 'L.A. Justice.' Now Tracy merits a full-length adventure . . . In a chatty, rambunctious, and wryly humorous style, Tracy narrates a tale that will captivate readers with sharply drawn characters, continual action, and unlikely circumstances. A real treat." -- Library Journal, 8/99
"Set in New York City, this witty debut novel follows wacky protagonist Tracy Eaton . . . as she searches for her husband's sister, who has been kidnapped right before her wedding." -- Publishers Weekly, 7/99
"Take a curious wanna-be detective (Tracy), a rather straightlaced husband, inlaws too unreal for words, with a wedding that doesn't happen. Add the missing bride-to-be and the mafia -- stir well. What you get is a fun romp through New York with these crazyquilt characters as the mystery is solved with lots of suspenseful twists and turns. Neri brings an exciting new voice to the mystery scene. Encore!" -- Margo Power, Murderous Intent Mystery Magazine 9/99
"This book is laugh-out-loud funny. It is a classic 'light' mystery in the cozy category. . . . This is a first in the series and we will be sure to look for more!" -- The Snooper, Snoop Sisters Bookstore, FL 8/99
"This is a light, zany read for the light-at-heart. More humor is a GOOD thing. . . . Look for the next installment from Kris Neri. She is developing a delightful character, and I am looking forward to finding out more." -- Vicki Dickerson Ball, Books 'n' Bytes 8/99
"Well-known for her intricately plotted short stories, Kris Neri has now turned her hand to the mystery novel with fabulous results. . . . With a healthy dose of nosiness and an equal amount of nerve, Tracy surmounts every obstacle with elan and a sense of humor that will tickle the reader's fancy . . . in this delightful series debut." -- Mystery Time FALL/WINTER 99
Top Customer Reviews
Tracy Eaton explodes on the mystery scene with a bang in this fun book. The plot never looses its way or the pace, and the ending truly surprised me. I recently reread this book, and I discovered how well plotted it truly was. Scenes that didn't mean anything to me before suddenly took on a whole different meaning when I knew the ending. The characters are very well developed, and the plot flows from character, not the other way around.
Kris Neri has a true winner on her hands with the characters in this fun series. I'm looking forward to reading about Tracy's exploits for years to come.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As the mystery begins, Tracy is discussing what has already happened, but not in detail. She then takes the reader back to the beginning and later picks the story back up where the reader came in. There is nothing confusing about this at all because it is done in an amusing manner.
When Tracy and her husband Drew came to New York to attend Drew's sister's wedding, what they expected was a vacation of sorts and the usual wedding chaos. What they get is family secrets, kidnapping, panic and danger. First, a family member Tracy never heard of shows up and has the family acting odd. Then, when Marisa is kidnapped before her wedding and her fiancé is contacted about a very unusual ransom, Drew's family gets even odder, if that's possible. Tracy isn't just left out of the family decisions because she is an in-law, her ability and intelligence is also doubted. Instead of getting bent, Tracy lets the excitement of a real mystery case initiate her into finding Marisa. Along the way, she finds some engaging cohorts to help her sleuth and pull off capers.
Revenge of the Gypsy Queen is told in the first person by the lead character. Usually, when a story is written in the first person, I feel the story is being told to me. Not this time. Tracy's voice made me feel included in this madcap menagerie. It was a wonderful experience.
Tracy Eaton is the daughter of Hollywood celebrities, wife of straight-laced lawyer Drew Eaton, and a mystery writer who yearns for the cloak-and-dagger adventures her fictional sleuth enjoys. Revenge of the Gypsy Queen finds Tracy in New York City for the upcoming wedding of Drew's sister Marisa, and before long Tracy is living out her detective fantasy. The reasons, however, are unfortunate: Marisa has been kidnapped. A wealthy developer and a mobster have both taken an unusual interest in the restaurant Marisa and her fiancé Tony run. Drew's black sheep Uncle Philly is in town, behaving suspiciously, and under investigation by the NYPD's Special Frauds Squad. And Drew and the rest of his family seem to be trying to keep secrets from Tracy. The Eaton family, in fact, seems content to try to meet the kidnapper's bizarre demand-the sale of the restaurant The Gypsy Princess-without any police involvement, so it falls to Tracy to be the "sensible one" for a change and get to the bottom of the mystery.
Of course, Tracy's definition of "sensible" is a bit wide of the mark. All the more fun for the readers who follow her as she crawls beneath cars, tails suspects, dodges various instruments of death and destruction, beards VIPs in their dens, and delves into the family secrets. Neri has created in Tracy a lovable writer-turned-sleuth who takes all the horrible clichés that implies and pummels them into submission with her unique sense of humor.
The story's resolution is also fresh. The grand finale, which requires the talents of a supermodel and a small army of-well, I can't tell you what without spoiling all the fun-is only the beginning of the end. True to the book's title, Neri spins a tale of revenge that leads Tracy into the dilemma of weighing the value of the absolute truth against justice. Fortunately, Tracy has the resilience to grow from the experience without losing her impetuous spirit. And that means I'll be reading Tracy's next adventure, Dem Bones' Revenge, as soon as possible.
(adapted from a "Skullduggery" review)