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A Smart Chick Mystery #2

Blind Dates can be Murder

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Blind dates give everyone the shivers... with or without a murder attached to them.

Jo Tulip is a sassy single woman full of household hints and handy advice for every situation. Her first romantic outing in months is a blind date-okay, the Hall of Fame of Awful Blind Dates-but things go from bad to worse when the date drops dead and Jo finds herself smack in the middle of a murder investigation. With the help of her best friend, Danny, and faith in God, Jo attempts to solve one exciting mystery while facing another: why is love always so complicated?

317 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 2006

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About the author

Mindy Starns Clark

51 books566 followers
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 30 books, both fiction and nonfiction, and has received numerous literary honors, including two Christy Awards and RT Book Review Magazine’s 2012 Career Achievement Award. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

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5 stars
315 (32%)
4 stars
365 (37%)
3 stars
228 (23%)
2 stars
53 (5%)
1 star
6 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 83 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa.
19 reviews
August 6, 2016
Blind Dates Can Be Murder was a fun read! The storyline was interesting although, at first, I was bored reading about Lettie. The description didn't mention her, so I didn't know who she was or what part she would play in the story. But partway through, I started to understand her role and in the end I enjoyed reading her story.

It was nice to read about Jo and Danny again. I laughed a few times at what Danny did/said. I also liked how at the end of every chapter there was a post from Jo's article/blog. The way the book ended definitely left me wanting to read book three! :)

Overall, I thought Blind Dates Can Be Murder was a quick, fun, and interesting read. I'm looking forward to reading Elementary, My Dear Watkins, the third and final book in the series.

My rating 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Loraine.
2,949 reviews
March 24, 2013
Once again Jo Tulip finds herself in the midst of murder, mayhem and household hints. But does love lurk in the midst of all this and will she get a clear-cut answer to her prayers that this time she has the right man? I enjoyed this one as much as I did Trouble with Tulip.
Profile Image for Claudia.
706 reviews6 followers
April 21, 2022
I had been reading this sequel to The Trouble With Tulip for quite some time. It was the book that rode around in the van with me so that I would always have something to read if I were caught unexpectedly waiting somewhere. The story follows Jo Tulip, blogger and columnist of household tips, and her since-childhood best friend Danny Watkins. After a colossally bad blind date which ended with Jo's date dropping dead, she finds herself repeatedly in danger without knowing why. With some help from the Chief of Police and his department, Jo and Danny seek to discover what is going on and why.

Blind Dates Can Be Murder is a cozy, Christian mystery, that was quite enjoyable. The third book of this series is sitting on my shelf. I guess it will become my new ride-along companion.
658 reviews
December 16, 2018
While I still enjoyed this one, it seemed to be a little heavier on the preachiness than the last book.

Jo, still oblivious about Danny's feelings for her, has ended her moratorium on dating by signing up for a dating service. Her first date, however, goes horribly wrong. After the dust settles, Jo is left trying to figure out why someone with mafia ties would be after her.
133 reviews1 follower
October 31, 2021
Jo Tulip writes about household tips but her ratings are dropping. In order to keep her job, and to boost her sagging love life, she joins a dating service intending to blog about it. Her first date does not end well as her rather unusual date drops dead. From there is it a race to discover who dunnit. Well written and entertaining
Profile Image for Maureen.
349 reviews
November 23, 2021
We joke (lament) at our house that on any crime-solving show, it is inevitable that a crime will have to be solved in a strip club. This is that episode for Mindy Starns Clark. This one got a little darker with prison stuff, mob encounters, strip clubs, domestic violence, explosions etc. It moved the story along nicely but was a little over the top.
Profile Image for Tianna Holley.
Author 4 books126 followers
January 11, 2015
I don't usually read mystery, but I got this book for $1.00 at my church bookstore. It's written by Mindy Starns Clark and is part of a series, although I didn't realize that until I finished reading it.

I'll start with the pros: The mystery is solid and believable. The romance is clean and sweet. Both of the main characters are Christians, and it reminds me of when I was involved with a singles' group in church. There's really no Christian message coming from the author, as it's more of a way of life for some of the characters. They go to church, a singles' group, and their faith makes them who they are and plays a part in their choices. If you are a Christian, you'll relate to them. If you aren't a Christian, I think you'll still enjoy the story, as it doesn't preach at you.

Now for the cons: I really didn't relate with the main female character for two reasons. The first being that Tulip makes her living by running a blog about household hints and tips. She's highly organized, and I'm the complete opposite personality wise. The second reason I didn't relate is that the story is told from four different people's point of view, which was great for getting me to anticipate things before they happened but didn't help to get me too involved with one person.

Overall, I thought it was a good read and gave it three stars. I think I would have given it four if it hadn't been for the very last page. Apparently, this is the second book in a series. I just didn't know that by looking at the cover. It does say, "author of The Trouble with Tulip" in small letters at the bottom. However, it doesn't say book two or series really anywhere on the cover. The great mystery part of this book stands alone, but the romance is where you'll want to read the entire series. I was at the very end of the book thinking I had a complete story, and then BAM!!! The last page throws in a punch that had me going, "What?" That's when I looked a little deeper and realized I'd have to read the first and second book if I want to find out what happens with her personal life. I have no problem with reading a series, as that is what I write and usually read. However, I just wish I knew what I was getting into when I started the book. I wish the cover had given me more warning. Looking at the book on Amazon, it's easy to see that the book is the second in a series--just not so if buying from a bookstore.

If you like cozy mysteries, you might enjoy this one. Just be sure to start with The Trouble with Tulip before reading this one.
Profile Image for Theresa.
144 reviews9 followers
July 20, 2009
This is the second book in the "Tulip" trilogy.

Jo Tulip, who writes a syndicated helpful hints column, "Tips from Tulip", learned in the previous book ("The Trouble with Tulip") that her column is losing circulation and that she has to do something to save her column and connect with the young generation. You know, the people that are her age. She is doing that in part by going on-line and writing a blog. And, she's decided it's time to start dating again, after being unceremoniously dumped at the alter. To do this, she chooses a computer dating service.

She meets her computer match at a local steak house. It's definitely not a love match -- there's not even a chance that they'll be friends. But the evening gets even worse when her date drops dead from an apparent asthma attack. Then she finds that her date is actually in trunk of the car of the man who showed up for her date.

While the fake date's death appears to be from the asthma attack, Jo can't rule of the possibility of his death being a murder. She gets her best friend, Danny, who has showed up as the police photographer during the initial investigation into the date's death, to help her with her investigation.

Danny still hasn't told Jo that he's in love with her -- and Jo has no idea. Everyone else knows, but Jo is clueless and Danny isn't really aware that everyone else knows until he starts to ask for advice.

Once again, I enjoyed this book. I'm looking forward to the next book -- the ending of this book has an interesting twist and I'm hoping that it will resolve one of the issues that hasn't been resolved from the first book. The Christian theme is still there -- perhaps a bit stronger than in the first book -- but it wasn't an overpowering theme in the book.
Profile Image for Jessie Weaver.
738 reviews61 followers
June 24, 2014
Blind Dates Can Be Murder is the second of Mindy Starns Clark's Smart Chick mysteries (the trilogy was recently completed by Elementary, My Dear Watkins). Having taken a break from dating after she was jilted at the altar, columnist Jo Tulip is ready to start exploring her options again - much to the chagrin of her best friend Danny, who is head-over-heels for Jo. Working from multiple points of view that keep the reader on her toes, Clark begins her mystery as Jo's first date in months drops dead during dinner.

As Jo works to help solve the case, we peek into the life of Lennie, whose husband is in jail. Lennie implements fraud schemes for a big boss, whose best friend just happened to die on a blind date with Jo Tulip. Lennie is sent to Jo's small town to find out more about the advice columnist - and see if she was the one who killed her date. Meanwhile, Lennie is just trying to squirrel away enough money to escape to an island with her sister.

Though the mystery in this novel is intriguing, the relationship between Jo and Danny is just as fascinating. The constant question of 'Will he tell her?' pushes the story along to its end. And a twist ending leaves the reader hungry for the next installment in the series. Blind Dates Can Be Murder is the best Christian chicklit I've read in a long time. Invest some hours reading this series. You won't be disappointed!
155 reviews
December 4, 2008
Great book!! Love this author!! I couldn't get my hands on the first book in this series, so I decided to start with the second. (Since I've had both the second and third ones sitting at home just waiting to be read. Now that I've read the second, I do wish I'd read the first one because it seems to refer back to it alot, and now I kind of know how that one ends, so I probably will never get around to reading it.) Anyway, this was a great book, suspense and romance, and of course it ended with you wanting to quickly grab the third one! Lucky me, it's sitting right here and I'll start on it right away!!
Profile Image for Lynn.
312 reviews
May 3, 2009
This was an interesting mystery. It was a bit confusing at first with all the different stories and characters, but I really enjoyed the way all the stories were woven together in the end. Definitely worth the read.

It's been a while since I read the previous installment, but the author did a great job catching readers up so there was no need to go back for a re-read before or during this episode. The characters are friendly and welcoming, the kind of characters you want to spend time with and the find you really end up caring about.

In some ways it was a bit of a rush to the end, but not so much that it was disappointing or destroyed the build-up or the story.
Profile Image for Alsie.
159 reviews
January 29, 2015
Well, first, I'd like to say that this is the first time I've actually read a series in order. (Yay, so proud of myself!) It's pretty terrible, really, but I only get books from the library OR as a birthday/Christmas present so....
ANYWAY, Blind Dates Can Be Murder is definitely more jam-packed than Trouble with Tulip. You can't help but say to yourself, 'Hurry up, Danny. Just tell her!" Danny is so cute by the way, I love how he's so protective of Jo. :3
I COULDN"T believe that Peter basically risked his life to save Jo in the explosion.
Aww...so sad that that he died.>
So, I loved this book, Jo and Danny are so cute.
15 reviews
September 17, 2012
I loved all the books in this series. In this book, I continued to love Tulip and Danny's relationship, and the mystery was engaging. I love how the author can take one of the secondary characters (who may not be likable, because they are engaged in criminal activities), and actually make them likable, despite their flaws. This was the case in the first book of the series, as well. Just goes to show that no-one is all good or bad, and that we really should look for the good in others. Taking notice, and affirming the positive might make all the difference in someone's life!
Profile Image for Maria Claudia.
334 reviews14 followers
April 16, 2014
I didn't like this book. I was seduced by the cover, the plot seems interesting and I bought it. Completely disappointed. So unreal and so boring! The date between Jo and Danny brought some spark to the story, but it was insuficient to make me give more than two stars. The book is considered a christian fiction. But, know what? I didn't understand it. Yes, sometimes God is mencioned, sometimes Jo and Danny pray, sometimes they go to church. But it is not something that fit in the plot. The Lettie's conversion is at least strange. So fast. Indeed I hope more of this book.
Profile Image for Angie.
429 reviews6 followers
August 12, 2008
A light, fun read that was very clean. Bonus-lots of household hints. If you are looking for something deep and thought-provoking, keep looking. If your goal is purely entertainment with not much thinking, this may be your book. The author is a christian author which was interesting (in a good way) to read, even refreshing after so many LDS novels. I enjoyed the characters and the plot was decent.
Profile Image for Kelly R.
175 reviews31 followers
August 1, 2009
I hate ordinary Christian fiction. It's too mushy-gushy "lets all pray and our lives will be perfect." VERY annoying...

On the other hand, I love Mindy Starns Clark's books. They're funny, clever, and full of lovable characters. I read this trilogy at the beach this summer and could hardly put them down. If there was a 4 1/2 star rating, I'd probably use that. They're not perfect or the greatest books ever, but they're thoroughly enjoyable.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Midgley .
281 reviews3 followers
January 6, 2010
Jo Tulip is a household tips columnist who gets involved in a murder mystery and romance at the same time. The nice thing about this mystery is it is more people oriented, nothing bloody or graphic.
I really liked this book. It was more than a fluff romance, it was also a mystery. It was humorous, clean and it kept my attention. This is #2 in a series of 3. I didn't know that when I started it, but I didn't feel lost because I hadn't read #1. I just put #3 on hold at the libray.

Profile Image for Shanda.
207 reviews
May 26, 2010
317 pgs
2nd book in smark chick mystery series. Another easy, enjoyable read. Cheesy Christian fiction that actually taught me how the prophet Isaiah died. Don't think I knew that before. Ending surprised me. That doesn't happen very often so I liked it! This one was about a blind date that ended up collapsing in front of her, had ties to the mob and the lead character got involved in the investigation, again.
Profile Image for Abbey.
48 reviews
June 26, 2011
Okay - so I was looking for some really light summer reading and was seeking to get back in touch with my love of mysteries. What I didn't know, until I was a chapter or two into the book, is that it must fall into the genre of Christian mysteries. Who knew? I kept reading because it was light and fast, and actually the whole "Christian" part was interspersed in a very realistic way....... But I cannot say that I recommend the book.
Profile Image for Olwen White.
Author 3 books3 followers
May 6, 2012
Picked this up on a bit of a whim. I had never heard of the author but liked the blurb on the back of the book so thought I would give it a try. I didn't know when I picked it up that it is Christian fiction -I never even knew there was such a thing. Putting that to one side, its an engrossing and witty read which was enjoyable. However, I found it a bit too preachy which did start to get annoying after a while.
Profile Image for Denise.
43 reviews2 followers
July 8, 2012
Mindy Starns Clark has again entertained me with her second book in her trilogy about the household advise columnist, Jo Tulip. This book, like the first one, was a fun, easy read with just enough mystery and intrigue to make it difficult to put down. With great anticipation, I am anxious to pick up the third and final book in this series. I will, however, be sad to complete the ending of Jo Tulip's story.

Profile Image for Mark Baker.
2,057 reviews152 followers
March 19, 2014
Finally ready to get back into the dating game, Jo agrees to a blind date. Her date is short, fat, bald, and part way through dinner, dead. But when Jo finds herself targeted by the killer, she ramps up her efforts to bring the person to justice. Another great book that keeps the suspense building until the very last page.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
506 reviews12 followers
April 16, 2014
Too drawn out (I mean it took maybe 5 or 6 chapters from the time Danny decided to tell Jo that he loved her to him actually getting round to doing it) probably meant to add suspense but I just found it annoying. I read to chapter 15 then skipped to last 4 chapters to find out what happened without the tedium of the constantly changing viewpoints. I don't feel like I had any trouble working out what happened in the intervening unread chapters. Won't be reading anymore of the series.
Profile Image for Jessica.
87 reviews
October 6, 2008
What I enjoyed most about this series is the relationship between Jo and Danny. They are great characters to read. There is a religious undertone that was a strength of the characters, but not "in your face." I also enjoyed Jo's person struggles with her family and herself and how that played out.
728 reviews1 follower
July 30, 2011
Jo Tulip is at it again but this time she has moved into the 21st century with a blog and website to spread her household hints. Jo signs up with Date and Mates service for research purposes and her first date dies during their dinner date. A very complicated plotline involving domestic abuse, organized crime and developments in Jo and Danny's romance all come together for a good story.
235 reviews1 follower
September 23, 2011
Jo Tulip is the original Martha Stewart, only much more likable! She signs up for a blind date with a reputable service, but her date is anything but reputable! Out of the frying pan, into the fire! She really doesn't want a love in her life, or does she? Who could it be?
A fun read with no objectionable material!
Profile Image for Kaitie.
42 reviews
May 14, 2013
I really enjoyed this book, so far the first two of this trilogy have been easy and entertaining reads! I am really looking forward to the next one! :) If you're looking for a romance/mystery than this is it! After i'm done the trilogy - a few other books i desperately need to read, then I think I will come back to this author! :)
Profile Image for Phyllis.
36 reviews1 follower
September 22, 2014
Another winner

I've loved reading Mindy's books for years, and this is one of my favorites. I enjoyed the combination of mystery, suspense and a great love story. You will want to read the last book in this series, as the story doesn't end with this book, although it does have a happy ending. This book is full of surprises and is hard to put down.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 83 reviews

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