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Elise talks to USA Today about being addicted to books with sad endings


NewsandSentinel.com

A would-be matchmaker finds murder instead in Elise Sax's An Affair to Dismember.

Gladie has settled down (at least temporarily) with her grandmother in a small town in California. Grandma Zelda is known for her matchmaking skills and hopes Gladie has gotten the gift as well. But Gladie seems to have the gift—for trouble! Not only does she meet the hot police chief under odd circumstances, but then she attracts the attention of the crazy neighbors as well. The family patriarch is dead and when Gladie goes to pay a condolence call, she gets swept up in the family drama. Not only is every one of the children a prime suspect, but it seems the victim himself had his hands in some dirty business. But with all of this snooping, Gladie may have attracted the wrong attention, and that could cost her her life!

Gladie is a spunky heroine who will make readers laugh even as they thrill as she solves the mystery.

An Affair to Dismember is published by Ballantine. It is $7.99 and 293 pages long. Look for her next book, Citizen Pain coming soon.


Smexy Books: Romance Reviews
An Affair to Dismember by Elise Sax (The Matchmaker #1)
Contemporary Romance
January 29, 2013
Ballantine

Reviewed by May

Favorite Quote: "Man whore. Guy Slut. Penis hound dog."

Gladie Burger comes from a long line of matchmaker women. Unfortunately, Gladie doesn't seem to have the same skills and abilities that her grandmother does. That said, she can't seem to hold a job and so she doesn't have much to lose. Now she's moved in with her grandma (her only living relative) and is giving the family business a go.

Her grandma's neighbor has dropped dead, she finds herself in the investigation, and things in the small town of Cannes are suddenly heating up. Gladie must also fight her urge for the junk food her grandmother craves and has delivered, learn the family business, and deal with romantic interests in the form of a very attractive new neighbor and the police chief. Oh yes, when she finds herself meeting the new chief with her pants down sparks and tempers are flying.

Spencer Bolton had a well-known scorched-earth policy when it came to women. He was pure poison to anyone in a dress. He was the Al Qaeda of penises, and I was determined to never see him naked.

It was a matter of national security.
In overview, this is a very standard light mystery with romantic elements. It has a murder mystery plot, there is sexual tension, there are a lot of jokes and funny moments, and things work out in the end—in a series that follows a single heroine who solves mysteries kind of way. There is sort of a love-triange, only time (and more books) will tell if this will become annoying or resolve itself, and Gladie of course has lots to learn and plenty of fodder for future adventures set up here.

What I found in this debut author's book, was an absolutely delightful read that hit all the right notes. I giggled, I snickered, and I really enjoyed following Gladie around her small town getting into scrapes with bad guys (both cop and criminal alike). The cast of supporting characters was phenomenal—there are recurring people and places that I'll be looking forward to revisiting in the future. Oh yes, this book moved right along finding a great balance between mystery, comedy, and budding romantic chemistry.

The 'love triangle' angle in these books always makes me annoyed, in this book I felt like it was clear that the handsome neighbor, while nice, wasn't ever going to be for Gladie. Especially when compared to scenes between Gladie and Spencer—which were hands down the highlight of this book. She first meets him with her pants down, and though things don't always make Gladie come out shining, she maintains her composure, refuses to be seduced, and gives him hell at every turn. I especially loved this scene, as the two attempt to do some detective work together:

"I don't care for your tone," I said.

"My tone? How about my gun? You like my gun?" He pulled back his jacket to show me his sidearm.

"Big bad policeman." I pulled out the Mace.

"Is that my Mace?" Veins popped out on his neck, and his nostrils flared.

"Maybe."

"You stole my car and my Mace?"

"I borrowed them. Don't be so dramatic. I would have taken the shotgun, but it was locked." I was baiting him, but he deserved it. He was stomping on my territory.
When she isn't tracking down mysterious criminal types or being harassed by the creepy neighbors across the street, Gladie is trying to be a good matchmaker and she was a character I'd like to go have drinks with in real life. If I am going to invest in reading about a single character in multiple books it is vital that I really like, or am invested in the character, and with Gladie I definitely want more.

My caution note would be simply that if you don't like this kind of a book, if the quotes and details don't intrigue and interest you, then perhaps this isn't one for you. Her grandmother does have some (mild) psychic abilities, so if that is a deal breaker for you then beware of that. It worked for me, I liked the way it was handled. Oh sure, the story skirts believability at times as mysteries tend to do, but it hit all the right notes for me as a reader. I found myself highlighting and marking passages for quotes in every chapter.

It didn't have an especially original feel to it, there are lots of books that follow similar formulas and ideas. It is pretty predictable, standard fare really, and yet I can't name one similar book I enjoyed quite as much or would recommend as highly in recent years. The author does a fantastic job with this story, and she has me craving more of her work. Having a book that isn't afraid of being silly, of having a good time and making funny comments isn't easy to do. This book managed to hit that right note of just funny enough, with characters I was still invested in and want to see more of in future books.

If you enjoy light mystery comedies with a fun heroine leading the way—you should check this one out. I can't recall the last time I read a book of this genre and enjoyed it so thoroughly! I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment of this series.

Grade: A


MyShelf.com Review
An Affair to Dismember
Sax, Elise (Author)
Ballantine Books
January 2013/ISBN 0345532228

Gladie Burger has never stayed at a job for more than three months. That is ...until now. Her Grandma Zelda who owns and runs a matchmaking agency has convinced Gladie to become her partner since she isn't getting any younger. Grandma Zelda is positive that Gladie has the "gift." Gladie is now a matchmaker-in training.

Gladie goes out on a lunch run and in the process saves an owl, gets stuck on a telephone pole and loses her pants. She is now the pin-up girl for both the Police and Fire Departments! It doesn't hurt that one of her admirers is the new Police Chief Spenser Bolton.

While Gladie can't figure out how to make her "gift" work—she seems determined to figure out who murdered Randy Terns. Could it be her "gift" is not matchmaking but solving crimes?

Things to ponder: How did Randy Terns die? Will Gladie find her true "gift"? With all those hunky guys in town—will Gladie make her own match?

This was such a fun read. I really just wanted to see what escapades Gladie would continuously get herself into. Ok... some were not her fault. Elise Sax has written a book that invites you right in to read with open arms. I know some might consider this a romance—but with dead bodies showing up periodically—I think of this as a cozy romantic mystery. This is one book that will put you in a good mood, while trying to keep up with the antics of Gladie and her crew.

Reviewer's Note: I love the matchmaking advice given by Grandma Zelda at the beginning of each chapter.
   —Cheryl Green


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Good Morning Texas picks An Affair to Dismember as a Great Read for Valentine's Day


Advanced Review
Issue: September 15, 2012
An Affair to Dismember
Sax, Elise (Author)
Oct 2012. 320 p. Ballantine, paperback, $7.99. (9780345532220)

"A madcap plot and zany characters propel Sax's debut, which launches her Matchmaker series. Gladie Burger, fresh from Los Angeles, is apprenticing for her grandmother Zelda's matchmaking business in tiny Cannes, California, when the man across the street dies. After meeting his abused wife and sleazy children, Gladie is convinced he was murdered, but handsome police chief Spencer Bolton disagrees since the coroner pronounced natural causes. When she learns the man was a bumbling thief with only one successful heist and his estranged gang members may have been looking for him, Gladie is even more convinced she's right. She is somewhat distracted, however, by her grandmother's next-door neighbor, Arthur Holden, who says he's happy to help her detect. Even when two of the dead man's gang members turn up slain, Gladie isn't deterred. She's convinced the missing money from the successful heist is the key to the neighbor's death. Fans of laugh-out-loud romantic suspense will enjoy this new author as she joins the ranks of Janet Evanovich, Katie MacAllister, and Jennifer Crusie."
   —Pat Henshaw, Booklist


Romantic Times Book Reviews
An Affair to Dismember
by Elise Sax
Genre: Romantic Suspense, General Romantic SuspenseSensuality: MILD

Elise Sax's new Matchmaker series is off to a rousing start! The madcap antics, bizarre mystery and slightly clueless heroine will be very familiar to fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, but Sax gives the comic mystery genre a new spin with Gladie Burger and company. With tons of laugh-out-loud moments, memorable characters and two potential suitors — with varying levels of patience for the trouble Gladie finds herself in — this is a fun read sure to entertain.

Gladys "Gladie" Burger is destined to take over her grandmother Zelda's matchmaker business. She's not quite sure she has the gift, but she does know she has a tendency to get involved where she shouldn't, like when Zelda's neighbor turns up dead. At the behest of the dead man's crazy family, Gladie starts looking into his past, only to find more bodies, more craziness and two men vying for her affections. (BALLANTINE, Feb., 320 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed By: Cyndy Aleo
Publisher: BALLANTINE
Published: February 2013


Romancing the Book
Review: An Affair To Dismember by Elise Sax
Series: The Matchmaker series (# 1)
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 320
Source: Edelweiss

Three months has been Gladie Burger's limit when it comes to staying in one place: She's always been a temp agency kind of girl, ever ready to move on. That's why Gladie is more than a little skeptical when her eccentric Grandma Zelda recruits her to the family business in the quaint small town of Cannes, California. Gladie is also highly unqualified: Her beloved grandmother's business is matchmaking, and Gladie has a terrible track record with romance. Still, despite evidence to the contrary, Zelda is convinced that her granddaughter has "the gift." But when the going gets tough, Gladie wonders if this gift has a return policy.

When Zelda's neighbor drops dead in his kitchen, Gladie is swept into his bizarre family's drama. Despite warnings from the (distractingly gorgeous) chief of police to steer clear of his investigation, Gladie is out to prove that her neighbor's death was murder. It's not too long before she's in way over her head—with the hunky police chief, a dysfunctional family full of possible killers, and yet another mysterious and handsome man, whose attentions she's unable to ignore. Gladie is clearly being pursued—either by true love or by a murderer. Who will catch her first?

Review: This was a most amazing and amusing book and I decided I had to share it with everyone. I love getting in on the beginning of a new series, especially one that has all the elements I love: mystery and romance with a little bit of humor thrown in. Reading this one gave me a nice case of the warm fuzzies and I'm hoping to pass them along... Gladie is a character made just for me. She's in her late twenties but has no direction in her life (neither did I at that age). Since most romance novels tend to feature their female leads as strong and career-oriented (lawyers, chefs, doctors - all those jobs that take training and career planning), I've always had a hard time identifying with them. Now I'm given a woman with no long-term goals, where three weeks in one job is deemed a lifetime, and who faints at the sight of blood. She's moved into her grandmother's house and is training to take over the matchmaking business and before long has two handsome men interested in her well-being. Let's not forget the way her eyes dilate when she sees Spencer, the hot new police chief in town, and Holden, the handsome new next-door neighbor with the mysterious background (and what great names are those, huh?). Hubba, hubba. Within the space of one week, Gladie is stuck on a telephone pole, kidnapped, threatened, steals a police car, finds a dead body, gets shot at, and gets kissed by the dreamy neighbor. Like I said, I love getting in on a new series—and this one promises to be a doozy!


AN AFFAIR TO DISMEMBER
The Matchmaker, Book 1
ELISE SAX
ISBN# (13)9780345532220/6(13)9780345532237
30 October 2012
Ballantine Books
Paperback/e-book
$7.99
320 Pages
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4 Cups

Gladys Burger is uncertain if the matchmaking career is for her. Her Grandma Zelda is convinced Gladie has the gift, but Gladie just cannot be sure. Grandma always seems to "know" when two people are perfect for each other. In fact, Grandma's sixth sense is almost never wrong about anything.

When a hottie, named Holden, moves in next door, Grandma announces that Gladie has found her first client. Too bad Gladie would rather keep Holden to herself, rather than fix him up with someone else. Things would have been great save for the murder across the street. Now Gladie's sixth sense seems to be stuck in "whodunit" mode.

Gladie lands right smack in the middle of the murdered man's insane family drama, complete with a secret past, illicit affairs and generations old hatred. Her predicament gains the attention of Spencer, the good-looking new Police Chief, and suddenly she is bombarded with male attention. With everything else going on, Gladie almost screws up her first chance at actually matching her first pair of lovebirds. Being a matchmaker is trickier than one might have imagined.

The new Matchmaker series by Ms. Sax promises to mix fun and quirky humor with great drama. Gladie is an adorable heroine, with a penchant for junk food and meddling. The lively secondary cast is far more than background, with vivid personalities and complex stories that promise plenty of future action. Though the first person narrative is at times just a tad difficult to follow, readers will be richly rewarded with a fantastic Scooby Doo twist ending.
   —Kaitlin, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance


Fresh Fiction
Romance

Gladys Burger has never held a job for more than a few months in her entire life. Her grandmother, Zelda, asks her to move Cannes and take over her matchmaking business. Zelda has an uncanny knack for matching people. An amazing women who never leaves her home, Zelda knows everyone in town and is always up on the latest news. Gladys, who prefers to be called Gladie, is trying to organize her grandmother's business records and wondering how she will develop the skills to become a matchmaker. The neighbor across the street has died. Even though it was declared death from natural causes, there are too many questions left unanswered. Gladie's instincts along with some hints from the family have her pursuing all the leads that come her way. As she investigates, she meets two exciting men who romance her. One is the new police chief in town. The other lives next door to Zelda and is rather mysterious about his life. Peopled with eccentric and interesting characters, this is a great start to a new series of mysteries. An Affair to Dismember was thoroughly entertaining and I look forward to more in the series. Fans of comedic mysteries will want to pick this one up.


Night Owl Reviews
An Affair to Dismember
The Matchmaker Series, #1

I completely fell in love with this book. It absolutely sucked me into it from the very first page. I became so interested how the female characters meshed together and how the male characters acted around each other. All of the interaction between the characters was greatly written together. The book was completely entertaining and wonderfully written. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read book and cannot wait for the next one.

A bit about the story: Gladie moved back to her grandmothers after a long line of unsuccessful jobs. Her grandmother is the town matchmaker and Gladie hopes to be a part of the family business. She also feels needed because her grandmother doesn't leave her house and Gladie does all of the errands that she needs. While Gladie tries to learn the family business a murder happens in her quiet little hometown. She decides to try her handy work at crime solving instead of matchmaking to see if she is any better at it. Little did she know she has a knack for both.

Spencer is the new police chief in town. He was transferred from a big city and has fallen in love with the small town. The reason is because there is very little to no crime. That is until a murder happens. He then finds himself in the middle of an investigation that always seems to have Gladie in the middle of it. He just hopes that he can find the murderer before Gladie is the next victim.

Holden is Gladie's mysterious next door neighbor. He recently moved to town. No one knows where he is from or what he does for a living. He mostly keeps to himself, except for when it comes to Gladie. He always seems to be there when she needs him. He has become a white knight for her. The only issue is that Holden doesn't like talking about himself and why he moved. He is definitely a complete mystery.

Throughout the whole book Gladie has tried to find her place in the town. She has never convinced herself that she is capable of doing the family business of being a matchmaker. Since there was a murder in town she decided to try her hand at crime solving. The only problem is that she is always where the murders or incidents are.

Gladie doesn't listen to Spencer when he tells her to stop asking questions or she will wind up dead. Holden is always there to save her from danger or he is there right after to make sure she gets help. It always seems as if she cannot decide between the two. She is more concerned in solving the murder then her love life. This is stranger, but normal for Gladie.