Title: Big Boned
Life is reasonably rosy for plus-size ex-pop star turned Assistant Dormitory Director and sometime sleuth Heather Wells. Her freeloading ex-con dad is finally moving out. She still yearns for her hot landlord, Cooper Cartwright, but her relationship with “rebound beau,” vigorous vegan math professor Tad Tocco, is more than satisfactory. Best of all, nobody has died lately in “Death Dorm,” the aptly nicknamed student residence that Heather assistant-directs. Of course every silver lining ultimately has some black cloud attached. And when the latest murdered corpse to clutter up her jurisdiction turns out to be her exceedingly unlovable boss, Heather finds herself on the shortlist of prime suspects—along with the rabble-rousing boyfriend of her high-strung student assistant and an indecently handsome young campus minister who’s been accused of taking liberties with certain girls’ choir members.
With fame beckoning her back into show business (as the star of a new kids’ show!) it’s a really bad time to get wrapped up in another homicide. Plus Tad’s been working himself up to ask her a Big Question, which Heather’s not sure she has an answer for . . .
This is the middle book in the five book long series about Heather Wells, so it has plenty of the old with some new things to keep it all fresh. Some of the old stuff can be overused, but it’s still as enjoyable as the first two books were.
The beginning suffers the most when it comes to repeating things. For example, Heather runs at the very beginning, which doesn’t really work well for her since she’s not the most in shape person, and she spends a while repeating the idea that she lost some important sexual organs while running. I know, that sounds really weird, and even though it kind of makes more sense in context, it was a joke that really only needed to be used once or twice – not every other chapter. Luckily, the mystery starts early off and that keeps me interested when I’m unhappy with repeated jokes.
Beside the mystery, there’s romantic drama going on in Heather’s life, as well as some life changes that she’s contemplating. She’s in a period in her life when she’s on the edge of making lots of decisions, so that’s what she’s trying to do in this book when she’s not trying to solve the mystery.
There are some interesting new characters in this book, like Heather’s current love interest, but most of the character growth is reserved for already established characters. I didn’t mind that, though – I want even more about them, rather than meeting new characters who only stick around for a book or two.
The mystery is definitely the main draw, though. I wanted to know who had killed Heather’s boss and why, so even if I was rolling my eyes about the uterus joke being used for the ninth time (yes, I’m going to continue harping over that – it was the main issue for me!), I had the mystery to keep me interested.
The “Adult” Aspect
There was more mentions of sex and such in this book, but it continues to feel like a slightly older version of any Meg Cabot YA book. So, this series is definitely a good transition series for you if you’re trying to get into adult books like I am.
The romance is the cause of that repeated joke, but otherwise it’s fine – mainly because it’s not that big a thing. At the beginning, the romance has more of a presence, but once the mystery gets started, it kind of falls to the wayside. I didn’t mind, though, simply because I didn’t care that much about the romance. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good enough to make me say “enough with the mystery and clues and such – I want more romance!” so I really didn’t mind that it wasn’t a big draw. I think the next book will have a bigger romance, though, based on the ending of this book (although I won’t spoil it!)
By the end of the book, not only is the mystery solved in an interesting way, but Heather makes many of the big decisions she had looming over her for the whole book. Some of them were small decisions that probably won’t matter much in the future, but there were definitely some big changes that will be interesting to see played out in the future.
Despite some issues (get a new joke already!), this was another enjoyable addition to the series, and I’m excited to see how the fourth book will play out after some of the changes in this book.