Book Review: Gretchen Archer’s Double Strike

November 13, 2014 4 out of 5, review 1 ★★★★

Book Review: Gretchen Archer’s Double StrikeTitle: Double Strike
Author: Gretchen Archer
Genre: Mystery
My Rating: four-stars
My Copy: ARC courtesy of Henery Press
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way knows three things: Cooking isn't a prerequisite for a happy marriage, don't trust men who look like David Hasselhoff, and money doesn't grow on Christmas trees. None of which help when a storm hits the Gulf a week before the most anticipated event in Bellissimo history: the Strike It Rich Sweepstakes. Securing the guests, staff, and property might take a stray bullet. Or two.

Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way has three problems: She's desperate to change her marital status, she has a new boss who speaks in hashtags, and Bianca Sanders has confiscated her clothes. All of which bring on a headache hot enough to spark a fire. Solving her problems means stealing a car. From a dingbat lawyer.

Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way has three goals: Keep the Sanders family out of prison, regain her footing in her relationship, and find the genius who wrote the software for futureGaming. One of which, the manhunt one, is iffy. Because when Alabama hides someone, they hide them good.

DOUBLE STRIKE. A VIP invitation to an extraordinary high-stakes gaming event, as thieves, feds, dance instructors, shady bankers, kidnappers, and gold waiters go all in. #Don'tMissIt

Super sleuth, Davis Way is back and this time she’s in a lot of trouble! Gretchen Archer’s Double Strike is the third book in the Davis Way series and if you haven’t read the first two, it’s not necessary to do so in order to enjoy Double Strike. Although I do recommend reading them just so you’ll be familiar with key characters and Davis’ quirks.

We have really good character development despite this being the third book in the series, Archer continues to provide character development. I was actually surprised at how much Bianca Sanders has grown with the series and I love seeing her interactions with Davis. Overall, key characters are showing great character growth including Jeremy (aka No Hair) and Fantasy. I’ve made no secret of my love for Bradley Cole, Davis’s fiancé and it’s always a treat to see him. He’s still a bit of a mystery, but hopefully we’ll get to know him better. A few new characters make an appearance including the Sanders son, Thomas. I adored Thomas and just wish we had spent more time with him and hopefully this isn’t the last we see of him.

What I really liked about Double Strike was getting to know Davis better regarding her insecurities. In the past, I felt her relationship with Bradley moved too fast, but then have to remind myself that Archer’s stories don’t pick up right where the last ended (in terms of the timeline of events), so it is perfectly acceptable for us to feel out of the loop. Also, I’ve never really cared for Davis’ past with her ex-husband Eddie and feel that Archer has used their history as a bit of a crutch to expand storylines. I’m happy to report that while we don’t get a lot of Eddie in Double Strike, it’s enough to set up the plot and I really enjoyed it. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to spoil it, but will say this: questions arise as to whether or not Davis can legally marry Bradley. Ah, Archer made my heart stop a few times.

At the heart of the novel are Davis and her antics. Double Strike started off a bit slow, but really hit its stride midway. I found the previous books funny, but I laughed so much in Double Strike that my sides hurt. You won’t look at hair serum the same way and you’ll begin to question Davis’ sanity especially when it comes to a certain spa treatment: bull semen hair treatment which I found out to be a real thing (not that I didn’t believe Archer regarding this, but it just seemed a bit out there). Also, I liked the mini tutorial on hashtags and Twitter use. I know a lot of people aren’t up-to-date with social media and Archer’s explanation and Davis’ attempt at Twitter was thorough and easy to understand and follow for any novices out there. Although, it did make me want to #hashtageverything afterwards.

As for the overall mystery, as with the previous Davis Way books, there is a tie to the Bellissimo and gambling. I won’t go into much detail because it would be a huge spoiler but it was realistic. I just wish Archer would have focused a bit more on the involvement of a particular family.

If you’re a fan of mysteries or are looking to try a new genre, I highly recommend Gretchen Archer’s Davis Way series. I’ve enjoyed all three books in the series and honestly, I think Double Strike is my favorite. Although if you’re not a fan of cliffhangers, I’ll warn you: Archer does end her books with them, but I think they are worth the frustration.

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