Some of the best books are the ones in which it’s clear the author had as much fun writing the book as you do reading it. Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog is one of those books. Best-selling mystery writer Lisa Scottoline (Look Again, Lady Killer) also writes a regular Sunday column, “Chick Wit,” for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Here, she has compiled about 70 of the funniest, smartest and most poignant dispatches (plus a few new essays) into one deliciously exuberant collection.
A single (and happily so, referring to her ex-husbands as Thing One and Thing Two) mother of a college-age daughter, Scottoline lives with four unruly dogs and two cats. Add one feisty octogenarian mom and Scottoline’s brother Frank, who is gay and lives in Miami, and she has a vibrant cast of characters to populate her columns.
But what really makes this collection so addictive is Scottoline’s way of capturing everyday moments, dissecting them and coming up with unexpected and slightly off-kilter observations about life. When daughter Francesca comes home from college for the summer, Scottoline notices that she’s gotten used to having the house to herself:
“Francesca’s become a vegetarian, so we go food-shopping all the time. We’re in the market, squinting at labels and scanning for magic words like cruelty-free. What’s the alternative? Pro-cruelty? Obviously she’s right, but all of a sudden, I’m spending too much of my life around produce. Plus, I’m carb-free, which means that we agree only on celery. . . . You get the idea. My daughter has disturbed my empty nest, and she’ll be home all summer. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
There’s a reason the book is subtitled “The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman.” Scottoline is an ordinary woman, and unlike the fast-paced legal thrillers she’s best known for, in this book she’s going to tell you all about what kind of tattoos she’d get if she were brave enough, why she dreads magazine subscription notices and her deep thoughts on Jennifer Aniston’s hair. And the funny thing is, it’ll make you think.
Amy Scribner writes from Olympia, Washington.