Sam Bohrman is a friend of mine, so my review of her book can’t be unbiased. That said, Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality is a delightful, hilarious romp of a mystery/romance, and I highly recommend it. If you like mysteries, romances, or comedies, this is a fast, fun read. Think Bridget Jones set in Kansas with The Wizard of Oz instead of Pride and Prejudice as an influence, and you’re on the right track.

Ruby O’Deare is kind of a mess. She has interfering parents, her taste in clothes far outstrips the paycheck from her not-very-fulfilling job with a Mean-Girl boss, and there’s a weird guy named Todd crashing on the couch in the apartment she shares with her friend Ming. The mystery we begin with is not typical of crime novels:

…if only she knew how she’d gotten here…Under her borrowed bathrobe, her skin was covered in fine purple grit, as if she’d run through a sprinkler and then rolled in grape-flavored Pop Rocks. Waking up at the zoning commissioner’s house covered in what she could only assume was purple sex paste with a smooshed party hat under her pillow–it just didn’t add up, not for a temp attorney who spent most nights Facebooking in front of The Bachelor.

From there, Ruby stumbles, sometimes literally in her high heels, among shady real estate deals, a suspicious death, and whether or not Noel, the cute zoning commissioner likes her.

Ruby is daffy and misguided, but is smarter than anyone–including herself–gives her credit for. Her charm and resilience in the face of her own frequent ridiculousness make her a character I cheered for even while I shook my head at her not-so-good choices.

If you are looking for realistic crime, or complex true-to life characters, you have come to the wrong book. If you’re looking for a sweet, silly escape, you’re in the right place. I look forward to the further (mis)adventures of Ruby.

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