Double Dip by Gretchen Archer (Davis Way Crime Caper #2)

Double Dip by the author Gretchen Archer is the second book in the Davis Way Crime Caper cozy mystery series. I’ve read and reviewed the first book, Double Whammy, not long ago, so it’s still fresh in my mind. I remember really warming up to the character of Davis and was looking forward to seeing what she’s been up to in this sequel, as being an undercover investigator in a casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The main story in this second novel, as the title also reveals, is about a double dip around a slot tournament – about someone working two ends and getting paid twice for it, and some missing old people. And it is Davis’ job to find out who does it and why. And let’s just say that what she discovers is a bit bigger than everyone initially thought, especially when murder and poison play such a prominent role in the scam.

Her ex, Eddie, is not so much present in this second installment, however, his mom is, and she literally cracked me up. The author painted such a vivid picture of the old woman and her transformation for her part in the slot tournament, that I can literally see her in front of my eyes (and shudder). She’s definitely something one will not easily forget.

Davis Way is still working at the casino as an underground PI, while doing all sorts of odd jobs around the place, from playing a waitress to a cleaning lady, all the way to being a rich casino customer. She’s quite ok with them as well, except for one particular job that she literally hates (for the most part anyway) – being the double of the boss’s wife, Bianca, who is such a spoiled brat that I felt like slapping the woman around a few times as well, while reading the book. Boy, she’s a major annoyance. I so wish she would lose her memory for a change and would have to work a menial job for a few weeks, just to learn how it’s done in the real world…hey one can only dream…

Bianca has suffered an … accident, which makes her unable to go out in public, so Davis, who looks like her twin (except for being several years younger), got the job of being the stand-in for Bianca at various official events around the place. And the trick works because everyone believes Davis is Bianca, and they even love her newly developed open and friendly attitude (which Bianca is definitely not known for).

However this “fun” is shadowed by a couple of events, including her being poisoned, and her troubles with the love of her life, Bradley Cole.

In the previous novel, I was a major fan of Bradley Cole, but in this one, he got on my nerves a bit, although some of the situations that he was unwillingly placed in (one of which involved Davis’ ex) would make anyone feeling betrayed, indeed. But still, I would have expected a bit more compassion and love and understanding from such a hunk of a gorgeous human being that was introduced to us in the first book.

As for the writing style, I loved, loved, loved the snippy and funny one-liners in the book, they matched with Davis’ character perfectly. And thankfully the author let go for the most part of the main character’s air-headed replies (see my review of the first book on this nitpicking of mine). Davis is really getting more into her skin, is evolving and growing to be a strong character with each successive story.

The nicknames Davies gives to everyone around her makes her co-workers repeatedly utterly confused and got me laughing out more times than I can count.

I know that I initially likened her to Stephanie Plum, the main protagonist in Janet Evanovich’s novels, but in this second book, Davis doesn’t need to remind us of anyone else. She can stand on her own and be remembered for what she is, a quirky, witted, very clever and fun character that is worth meeting in Gretchen Archer’s books.

My only gripe with the book? The ending. I felt it was a bit rushed, to make it end neatly so we’re ready for a third installment. I just felt that there was something missing between the last two chapters, a bit of a transition, as it were. However overall, I loved the book, just as much as the first in the series, and I am now eagerly waiting for the third book in the Davis Way Crime Caper mystery series. I hope we won’t have to wait too long.

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