While in Florida this week, I decided to take an advance copy of clinical psychologist Roberta Isleib's new book Asking For Murder
with me for some fun summer reading. You might remember that I posted about
Isleib's first book, Deadly Advice
and found it to be well worth a read if you like psychological mysteries.
This book --the third in the series --is the tale of clinical psychologist and advice columnist Dr. Rebecca Butterman, who is always getting into other people's business and solving crimes. This time, one of her best friends gets beaten up and left for dead, and naturally, she sets about finding out the details of what happened.
While I am not crazy about the main character--she is too PC for my taste (although likable at times), I was pleased to see that the author sort of poked fun at Butterman's tendencies to use sexist stereotypes to look for clues to the mystery of who hurt her friend. For example, she assumes her friend's boyfriend might have been the one that assaulted her because men are always belittling women's self-esteem (typical therapist) and he is a carpenter, probably making her more suspicious as she does not seem happy that he does "blue collar" work. She invites the boyfriend over for dinner to feel him out and asks him about his educational background. The boyfriend, Russ, tries to answer her questions but finally feels belittled himself and the dialogue that follows between him and Butterman is rather amusing:
"If you have a problem with me being too dumb for your friend, the fancy doctor, why don't you have the balls to just come out and say it?"
"She's not a doctor, she's a social worker," I said through gritted teeth. "Do you even know what sandplay therapy is?"
"I'll tell you what we had in common, because that's obviously what you've been wondering about all night. Why did your smart friend go for a big dumb dope like me? She was depressed," he said, jabbing his right pointer finger right at me. It was missing the tip. "We laughed all the time. Which is more than she could say for the rest of her friends."
Author Isleib makes Butterman look small and petty and the guy, well, articulate and to the point. Anyway, I won't ruin the plot for you in case you ever read it but I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
Labels: interesting books, psychology