Archive for 'Washburn, Livia J.'
I really like the set-up of this book. Our heroine, Phyllis Newsom, is a widowed teacher who has turned her home into a boarding house and currently houses three other retired female teachers. She and one of her boarders are both entering the local peach festival baking contest, and their competitiveness is hampered somewhat by the fact that they are developing their secret recipes in a shared kitchen. Enter a new boarder â€“ another retired teacher, but a man! Now doesnâ€™t that sound like fun?
Unfortunately, after setting this great story up, Washburn proceeds to do a lot of the things that make me grit my teeth. She makes the police officer investigating the murders in this book the heroineâ€™s son, so the heroine can get inside information. She does ridiculous things like have the cop interview a prime suspect in front of his mother and other witnesses. She has a lawyer divulge privileged information and a school principal discuss an ongoing, and possibly criminal, issue he is having with a teacher. Oh, and when the killer confesses, the cop doesnâ€™t Mirandize the killer, making the confession inadmissible. This is a book of fiction, but it isnâ€™t meant to be fantasy. The author needs to come up with realistic ways for her characters to get information â€“ instead, she takes the easy and unbelievable way out.
These kinds of discrepancies in a book indicate a lack of effort and/or creativity to me. And while the solution to the murders seemed immediately apparent to me, I have serious doubts that the second murder could have been accomplished as described. Given the story setup, there just isnâ€™t time. The fact that these elements of the book are so improbable really decreases the enjoyment for the reader.
Favorite character? Mattie, a spunky old lady. Did I guess it? Yes. Will I read another? Maybe. As I said, I liked the setup. If the author can follow through on this creativity in the next book, I might read another.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007