Super in the City – Daphne Ulliver

Title: Super in the City
Author: Daphne Ulliver
ISBN: 0385342691
Pages: 304
Release Date: January 27, 2009
Review: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Challenge: Countdown Challenge, 2009 Pub Challenge, A to Z Challenge
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 3 out of 5

From the back cover:

In this off-the-beaten-sidewalk debut, native New Yorker Daphne Uviller reveals the secrets of a sexy, story-filled Big Apple, where a mystery lurks behind every apartment door—and a savvy but slightly lost young woman unexpectedly finds herself holding the keys.

In a city brimming with opportunities for heroism, twenty-seven-year-old Zephyr Zuckerman has often fantasized about committing acts of bravery that would make front-page news. Now she may get her big break—though it may require plunging a few toilets. When the superintendent of her parents’ Greenwich Village brownstone is led away in handcuffs, unemployed Zephyr takes over his post and unleashes her inner sleuth: discovering titillating secrets about her tenants—from a smoky-voiced Frenchwoman who entertains throngs of unsavory visitors to a moody musician who just has to be hiding something—and realizing that her new reality is far more intriguing than her imagination.

Soon Zephyr has sussed out wrongs that stretch from losers on the Internet to art fraud and an international crime ring. The mob thinks she’s in the FBI, and the FBI thinks she’s in the mob—a predicament she needs to clear up fast. But perhaps not before the cute, surly exterminator helps her solve the mystery of what to do with the rest of her life….

I was excited to receive Super in the City from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. I’ve received some great books from this program and I had high hopes for the novel. I think the idea of a female super in a New York City apartment building is cute and has a lot of potential; unfortunately, Super in the City doesn’t seem to measure up.

I have to say, I didn’t really enjoy this book. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t very good either. I wonder if I’m being too harsh, though. Did I expect too much and it just not meet my expectations? Was I just not in the mood for it when I was reading it? I can’t say for certain. All I can say is that Super in the City didn’t hold my interest and I didn’t really like the characters.

The mystery within the story is interesting enough, but it seems rather offhand, as if it was added in later. Still, it’s well-written and provides additional entertainment. I’d love to see a sequel to the book in which Zephyr becomes a sort of PI for hire and solves crimes. I’d definitely read that one!

My main character problem was with Zephyr; I felt like she had no direction. She seemed to have the maturity level of a much younger child. She couldn’t commit to anything in life because she seemed to want to do everything. While this enthusiasm is understandable in a younger adult, it is difficult to accept that a 27-year-old refuses to do anything with her life because she can’t do everything. It seems immature and tantamout to some sort of tantrum – “If I can’t do everything I wanna do, I’m not going to do anything!”

Like I said before, I don’t know if I’m being overly critical and I feel bad because it definitely wasn’t a bad book. It just definitely left something to be desired and didn’t really hold my interest. The idea was extremely promising and I hope that Ulliver follows up on the threads she left dangling at the end of Super in the City. Though this novel wasn’t for me, I would be more than willing to give any of her future books a chance.


  1. Hmmm, I got it through Early Reviewers too. I am excited like you were so it will be interesting to see what I think of it!

  2. Ok I’m about 2/3s of the way through, I like it so far, but for some reason it’s very slow going reading wise. We’ll see where I end up!

  3. Ok I’m about 2/3s of the way through, I like it so far, but for some reason it’s very slow going reading wise. We’ll see where I end up!

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