LOCK, STOCK, AND OVER A BARREL
Carlson begins the first Dear Daphne book in a humorous, engaging manner. A large number of relatable characters and a plot that gets more interesting as the story progresses make for a wonderful introduction to this fun series.
Daphne Ballinger set out to conquer the journalism world when she left her small home town of Appleton for a job with the New York Times. Things haven’t quite turned out as she hoped. She is crammed into an apartment with too many roommates and writing wedding announcements. Then she learns that her beloved Aunt Dot has passed away, and she returns for the memorial service. Dot’s will reveals that Daphne has inherited her aunt’s entire sizable estate — with a few very private stipulations. She has to decide if she is willing to meet its terms, which could be quite difficult, since she has to keep it a secret. (B&H, Jun., 320 pp., $14.99)