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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Review

Book reviews are something I have never done before on my blog.

However, I have been following a wonderful Blogger 
named Patricia Rockwell, (her blog is called: "Subjective Soup")
 and she is a mystery writer now with her own publishing business called Cozy Cat Press.

She offered to send one of her newest books to some of her readers
so that we can do a book review for her, and I excitedly accepted.
Today is my review.

This is the Book:

My review below:

1. I have always loved "who-dun-it" books, ever since a child, reading the Sherlock Holmes series. It is such fun to guess and double guess who the killer might be and looking for clues as you read.  I also have read quite a lot of Charles Dickens, who weaves so many characters into the story that all end up intertwined. Characters that Charles Dickens mentioned on Chapter One or Three often showed up at the end of the story again in some bizarre twist of the plot.  But in reading Charles Dickens, I would often miss these connections because of so much detail and such a big cast of characters to have to remember.  Why am I mentioning this?  Because I loved Patricia's work of limiting the number of characters in her mystery to a handful so you could really get to know them well, and remember them.

2. I love books that are "easy read" books. Ones that you can read a chapter or two, put them down for a day and pick them right back up and remember the plot, characters and details of them. FM for Murder was the perfect book for this.  I was quite busy in my life when I read it and I could easily refocus into the plot and characters and continue whenever I wanted.

3.  I love it when a mystery grabs me from the beginning.  This one definitely does, as it starts out with you hearing the murder occur! Right away! If that doesn't get your mystery-reading pulse going, well, nothing will.  The book sucked me right into the action, immediately by the first chapter.

4. The female Detective (the main character) is likable from the moment she is introduced in the book. Even though this is not the first in a series of crimes she has helped solve, (this is not the author's first book with this character in it), it is a solid, stand-a-lone book that can be picked up anytime and enjoyed without knowing anything about the previous plots in other books in the series.

5.There are twists and turns in the book, so the murderer is not obvious until revealed at just the right time. This is so important when reading a mystery. To keep guessing, and guessing and wondering. The reader is taken along the roller coaster ride of "I wonder if the murderer is ____?" And then you read another chapter and think: "Or, maybe not...".  

6. Subtle hints at relationships are weaved well in the plot and chapters of this mystery, which made it intriguing.

7. The ONLY thing (and I MEAN the ONLY thing!)  that I slightly struggled with was trying to pinpoint when (historically) this story was supposed to have occurred.   Let me explain:  
The author has days at the beginning of each chapter, but never the year. For instance it says at the beginning of the Prologue, "Saturday, shortly before midnight, Dec. 15".  Each chapter has a timeframe like that with no year listed.  Which was fine with me, until my brain tried to pinpoint which decade the murder and story took place.

The book kept giving me conflicting clues in trying to do that. For example, the book deals a lot with talking about the victim, who was a D.J. who played alternative music and was involved in the Goth movement.  Goth music and dress peaked between the late 1970's and the '80's.  O.K, my brain said, it must be the '80's then.
But, right from the get-go, on pg. 18, the book tells us that one of the characters went and got "a transisitor radio".  What??? Well, then, I thought....then it must be in the 1960's, because there is NO WAY someone would have a transistor radio handy (and use it) anytime after then, because boomboxes came along by the 80's.
The story told occurs from Dec. to June of ONE year's time. However,  if the decade was the 80's, when the Goth movement was occurring, or the  late '60's/early 70's when transistor radios were still being used, then that didn't jive with other technology mentioned in the book such as personal computers, cellphones, the use of common voice analysis computer programs. 
To further boggle my mind, during the last chapter, the author mentions an ipod! The ipod did not get released to the public until 2007. 
So, it could be the 70's, 80's, 90's or after 2007. But if it was after 2007, it would be unlikely that any transistor radio would be commonplace and unlikely that any of the young people would be into "goth" music that much anymore.
 I found this guessing as to the exact decade of the book a bit distracting because of that.
Maybe I missed something,  somewhere in the book?

But I  DO know this:
It was thoroughly enjoyable, easy to read, fun to guess who-dun-it and a great read.  I will definitely read the rest of the books in the series with great anticipation and joy. It was a delightful read.

Go find out for yourself. You won't regret it!

And? Look into Patricia's other book:


Brian Miller said...

eh, may be worth checking out then...

SquirrelQueen said...

Maybe the characters were caught up in a timewarp through the decades. It still sounds like a good read, aren't reviews fun?

RNSANE said...

Excellent review and, as a forensic nurse for 21 years of my life, I am always drawn to murder mysteries and the like. You'd think I would have had enough of the stuff in my work and in conferences over the years. Not so! I'll have to check her out.

Unknown said...

A good review. I will add this one to my list of must reads.

MadSnapper said...

i am wondering if a transistor radio would even work now if we found one. that is pretty distracting. but the book sounds like one i would like. my problem is if a book grabs me like you said this one did, i cant put it down, have to read until done.
you did a super job of reviewing, made me want to read it.

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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