I am usually not a big fan of cozies and I hardly read them. But the Davis Way Crime Caper series is a major exception to the rule. I love this series and so far I can’t stop reading them. If you want to read the Gretchen Archer books in order, you need to start with Double Whammy and then move your way up to the latest story in the series.
Double Up brings back Davis Way and she is this time in a very funky mood.
The main secret spy for the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi is at home with her two newborn twins. She lives on the 29th floor of the hotel and right now she is a stay-at-home mom. She hasn’t been out of the apartment for quite a while (8 months to be exact) and she doesn’t really intend to go out either.
Her husband, Bradley Cole, is the CEO of the resort/casino and he has a problem. The company is in real danger of closing very soon and there is seemingly nothing that anyone could do about it.
Competition (Blitz) has set home just across the road and it seems to attract all Bellissimo’s customers along with its employees. Soon the Cole family might not only be without a job but if the casino closes, also without a place to live in.
And because all bad things come in threes, Davis Way’s ex-mother-in-law Bea Crawford has just arrived at her place claiming man problems at home.
So now Davis has to deal with a dying Bellissimo, with a fierce and evil competition, with her inability to leave the house and also with Bea, who seems to have made herself quite at home at the hotel.
So what is Davis to do? Go back to work, of course, and try to save her family, home, and job. And since Bea is around … why not use her as a spy of her own in her quest to keep Bellissimo from closing.
Now Bea turns out to be one of the most original spies ever written about. She kinda screws up everything (while also managing to give Davis some really good bits of information) and some of the situations she creates had me on the floor laughing (I don’t think I’ll ever forget the smelly shrimps).
The story is action-packed and there is always something going on. And most of the things happening are hilarious to boot. There is something to laugh or chuckle about on every single page, so make sure you read the book at home where you won’t disturb others with your constant loud laugh.
Initially, I did miss Bianca Sanders, the casino owner’s wife, but with Bea around, I soon forgot all about Bianca. I didn’t think I would start to feel kinder towards Bea, but it did happen. The author managed to bring her story and character to life. Bea can actually be a fun (albeit often annoying) woman to be around and now I feel like I’ve known her forever.
Davis is surrounded by some really good friends, even though sometimes she doesn’t realize it until quite late in the story.
Gretchen Archer crafted another winner in Double Up. If the author wrote one Davis Way book for the next 20 years, I’d read each one as soon as it came out.