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Double Whammy by Gretchen Archer
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Double Whammy is a steady-paced mystery based in the world of casinos. The main character is a young woman named Davis Way, who is a former police officer. She takes on a potentially exciting – definitely not dull! - new job in Mississippi. It quickly becomes clear that not everything is on the up and up. Trusting anyone is a significant risk. It seems that you never know who you’re working with or who’s your friend or your enemy.

We wondered throughout how the events in this story would be brought together.

We give this book three stars due to profanity and adult situations. Although it isn’t particularly graphic, it is obvious what is happening. Infidelity and violence are also included in this story.

Negative aspects aside, it was an interesting story and one couldn’t help but share in Davis’s frustrations. If you’re into crime capers, you will find Double Whammy very entertaining.

We were provided a free copy of this book in order to review it.
  celticmama36 | May 5, 2017 |
This book is an perfect example of why I dislike foreshadowing as story-telling device in my books. The author did it so well at the beginning that in spite of the fact that I was loving the writing and the characters, she filled me with dread about what was going to happen and I put the book down because I kept finding other things to do.

Once I hunkered down and started really reading, I didn't want to put it down; a lot of the story is far-fetched, but it's marketed as a "caper" so expectations are set from the cover, and the writing, the mystery solving, the delightfully flawed-character are all so well done and entertaining. Foreshadowing or not, I enjoyed the bejeezus out of this book.

To anyone who might want to check it out and they read the summary, I'd just like to point out that while accurate enough it sort of gives readers the wrong impression about what to expect: "doppelgänger" would have been a better word choice than "twin", and the ex-ex-husband's role was... atypical.

In spite of the story definitely being a caper - an almost mad-cap one - the MC has hidden depths, and I adore her adoration of her daddy; there were a lot of parallels between her father-daughter relationship and the one I had with my daddy (yes, "daddy" - it's a Southern thing). Those scenes probably account for that 1/2 star, because they no doubt upped my enjoyment of the whole book. Some might take exception to the insta-love, but I lumped it in under the caper thing and just rolled with it.

I'll read the next one, but even at 4.5 stars, I don't feel like I have to rush out to get it right away. This story ended really nicely with all the questions answered. Highly recommended if you're looking for a caper that isn't silly or slapstick. ( )
  murderbydeath | Nov 13, 2016 |
Very humourous account of former police officer, Davis Way, and her exploits when she goes to work for a Biloxi casino as a security specialist.

Read and listened to both Kindle and Audible book through immersion reading ( )
  nospi | Feb 7, 2016 |
Davis Way use to be a cop in Pine Apple, Alabama. That is, until, she kind of lost her mind and went after her thieving ex-husband, Eddie, a little too harshly. So she is terribly excited to be hired at the Bellissimo Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. At first, she isn’t too sure what her job really is. There’s wigs and a variety of uniforms. She’s set tasks and she accomplishes them. Eventually, she is handed something bigger and funner. That is until she runs into her ex-husband. Erg! Big trouble lies in wait for one or both of them if Davis can’t keep her cool.

This book was mostly humor with just the right touch of seriousness. Davis has been through some tough times, some of which were of her own making. However, she’s trying to put that behind her and make something new and shiny of her life by taking a job that is 4 hours away from her hometown and family. At first, she is ashamed to tell her father (the head cop in Pine Apple) about her security work at the casino, feeling it is a step down from law enforcement. However, he is forever supportive. Their relationship is one of the cornerstones that keeps Davis going.

Let’s talk about the casino life. I’ve been in 2 casinos in my life and each time it was to meet someone at the restaurant. So I jumped into this book partly for the experience of something very different from my day to day life. I was not disappointed. The author does a good job of capturing the ambiance of the casino and, through Davis’s eyes, showing a few of the gambling games. There is a touch of computer programing thrown in as Davis tries to figure out how a slot machine can be beaten. Yet I never felt like it was too much and became bored with the story.

Davis herself is a pretty interesting character. She attacks life with some self-effacing humor and a bit of sarcasm. She knows that she is not always the sharpest tack in the pack, but she carries on. Perhaps due to her law enforcement years, she doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff either, being familiar with handguns and having the wit to size a person up before trying any physical moves that may result in a broken bone. She’s practical that way. And yet, when it comes to her ex-husband, she loses all that practicality and becomes total emotion – much of which is rage and anger and hurt. This combination of character traits pulled me and never let me go. I was totally on Davis’s side even when she was in the wrong.

As Davis completes task after task, things become more complicated. Her employers, Richard Sanders & his assistant Nathalie, are learning to trust her and are taking her further into their confidences. Perhaps half way through the book, Davis learns what they truly want her to do. It involves her look-alike twin (Bianca), the ex-husband (Eddie), and a slot machine. Things end up going a bit deeper than that and it was definitely worth reveling in.

Towards the end, it really looked like Davis was going to lose it all and be stuck in a very bad situation. This gave her lots of time to reflect upon her life and what was important. Also, this is when a new love interest steps in and offers unlooked for assistance. Truly, I wasn’t sure how the author was going to wrap this mystery up. Being attached to Davis, I wanted things to work out for her. Yet I knew that may not happen. I was biting my nails as I devoured the last several hours of this book. In the end, I was pretty satisfied and looking forward to the next in the series.

I received this book at no cost from the author (via her publicist) in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Dina Pearlman had a great voice for Davis. She performed the character with an Alabaman accent and she also included a few sounds here and there (gasps of astonishment, choking, etc.). She really portrayed Davis quite well. Her other character voices were all distinct and her male voices were believable. I especially liked her voice for the grumpy taxi driver, George. Quite often the text required character emotions and Pearlman did a great job there as well. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Aug 22, 2015 |
Unemployed former police officer Davis Way is down on her luck when she gets a job too good to be true. Working undercover in a Biloxi casino Davis is given a set of instructions and that’s to figure out how a particular slot machine is won. At first Davis grudgingly takes on the job, but the further she digs the more she finds that some things just don’t make sense. For example, what does her ex-husband have to do with the slot machines? Suddenly Davis finds herself in too deep and when she’s arrested for attempted murder no one believes her story and to make matters worse, there’s questions surrounding her identity. Will Davis be able to prove her innocence before the real culprit skips town?

We have good character development. Davis isn’t your typical former police officer; not only does she have a degree in criminal justice but one in computer science. She’s also not one to shy away from a job even if she hates it and she relies on no one except herself. We have a wide array of secondary characters that play a role including the mysterious Bradley Cole. I won’t go into detail regarding his character because I had so much fun meeting him and I want you to experience it. The real treat was Davis’ sister and her family.

Narration is first person and at times it is hard to trust Davis as a narrator because she’s all over the place and by that I mean…it’s hard keeping up with her and her thought process. She’s always has one foot ahead of the reader and I really like how Archer set this up because everyone around Davis wonders what Davis is talking about. Like them, we are kept in the dark and it’s a fun and unique experience. If I have one small compliant it’s that we get too much personal history intertwined with the narrative. This can prove problematic in the long run especially new readers coming to the series and having to backtrack for information or the narrative can quickly grow stale with recycled information we already know. While I do appreciate getting to know how Davis became who she is, she spends a good amount of time talking about her ex Eddie that I wish we would have seen more of him. No doubt Archer plans a book dedicated solely to Eddie and perhaps his demise? Or is that wishful thinking?

As for the overall mystery we’re left with a few unanswered questions, but that’s okay. I won’t go into detail regarding the plot since I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say I didn’t see that coming even though I had my suspicions. There are also a few relationships that aren’t quite cleared up. Archer just makes a general assessment that so and so were in on it or had a history, but nothing is gone into detail. A little more information would have been nice.

Despite a few hiccups, Archer’s DOUBLE WHAMMY was such a delightful read. I can’t wait to read more in the series and of course spend more time with Bradley. If you’re a fan of amateur sleuths, you’ll really enjoy Gretchen Archer’s DOUBLE WHAMMY. ( )
  winterlillies | Jan 7, 2014 |
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Davis Way thinks she's hit the jackpot when she lands a job as the fifth wheel on an elite security team at the fabulous Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. But once there, she runs straight into her ex-ex husband, a rigged slot machine, her evil twin, and a trail of dead bodies. Davis learns the truth and it does not set her free- in fact, it lands her in the pokey. Buried under a mistaken identity, unable to seek help from her family, her hot streak runs cold until her landlord Bradley Cole steps in. Make that her landlord, lawyer, and love interest. With his help, Davis must win this high stakes game before her luck runs out.… (more)

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