I think I won this book in an online contest back in the summer. Though listed as a "mainstream mystery romance," there should be a nod to erotica for unsuspecting buyers. I'm not a prude. Nonetheless, I was surprised when this breezy little tale with a self-deprecating heroine, a drop-dead gorgeous leading man, and a clutch of mildly off-beat characters dipped into something else, and then dipped again, and again. If you like your sex spread out on the pages, you'll enjoy the intense love-making scenes.
Artful Dodging is well written with an intriguing murder angle that occurred a bit too far into the story. Downside, I didn't believe completely the romantic rapport between Milo and Tristram other than two horny people who wanted to rock the town. In real life, he'd be in jail for a potential date rape the first time and kidnapping the third time they rode the bullet express into the dark tunnel. Kudos, though, to the author on not revealing their pasts at first opportunity. Lesser writers would have stopped the story upfront to lay out the back story. I enjoyed the reveals.
Sadly, there wasn't much tension with respect to the murder plot. The usual finger pointing of potential suspects was there, but I never had the sense that Milo was in any danger while she snooped until the climactic scene. The murder explanation by the murderer during the climax was a bit hard to swallow, and then we had to have the murder plot(s) explained away during eighteen additional pages after the climax and between more romantic dalliances. Oh, yeah. And what's with "Isis’s irritable sneezes and the occasional shaking of her feathers?" Isis is a cat! Haha. Without the strong writing, this would have been a three, but she scores better because of the writing. It's a low-range "4."