I have had this on my shelves for years and it is only last week, as I decided to sort through my books (I decided that double ranks of books on my shelves just weren’t acceptable anymore), to give away those I had read and those I did not intend to read anyway, and to give those I hadn’t read yet but intended to more visibility, that I stumbled upon this one. My first impulse was to put it on the pile to give way (I remembered this was clearly a “mistake” buy, I hadn’t spotted the “Romantic suspense” label on the side of the novel), and then I thought I’d give it a try, after all summertime is just the time to read fluff…

Well, let’s say that I have read worse mysteries than this one, much worse… In The Gingerbread Man, Detective Vincent O’ Mally is haunted by a promise he couldn’t keep: the promise to find two abducted kids alive, solemnly made to their mother. Devastated by the mother’s sadness and disappointment, and although he has been put on a leave of absence, he follows the only lead there is: a book found near the scene of crime, The Gingerbread Man, which belonged to the library of Dilmun, a small town in upstate New York. There, Vince meets Holly, a woman who has trouble hiding her own demons. He soon becomes convinced that Holly is somehow related to his own investigation, and feels increasingly attracted to her, although he swore to himself he would not promise anything to a needy woman ever again…

To tell the truth, The Gingerbread Man is a very decent, suspenseful mystery, even if the big twist was predictable from early on. I liked the atmosphere, the plot, the two main characters, and also the character of Reggie, an ageing horror flicks actor. As for the “romantic” storyline, I thought the author rambled on too much on whether or not Holly was a needy, weak woman or on the contrary a strong one deep inside, and would Vince fall or not for a woman who saw him as a savior… But of course, I am not into romances to begin with, unless these are written by Jane Austen or the Brontë sisters. Having said that, the romance storyline took up much less space than the mystery, and frankly, had the novel not been labeled as a romantic mystery, I would have easily mistaken it for a plain old mystery…

Rating: 3,5/5