Monday, July 25, 2016

A Most Curious Murder

It is the last full week of July!  How time flies when we are having fun--or working, cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, etc.  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend (was it at least a decent weekend?).  If you enjoy Amish fiction, A Bee in Her Bonnet by Jennifer Beckstrand comes out tomorrow.  It is the second book in The Honeybee Sisters series (I enjoyed it).  You do need to read the first book in the series (Sweet as Honey) in order to understand what is happening in the second book. 

A Most Curious Murder by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli is the first book in A Little Library Mystery series.  Jenny Weston has just moved back to Bear Falls, Michigan following her acrimonious divorce.  One thing she has always loved is the Little Library her father built for her mother in front of their home.  Her mother was a librarian before she married, but the town had no library.  This was a way for her to be a librarian and help people picks books (it works a little differently from your traditional little library).  But then they find the little library smashed to pieces.  Who would do this?  Everyone (well, almost everyone) loved the little library.  Their neighbor, grumpy Adam Cane did not like it.  He felt it caused extra traffic on their street.  But when Adam Cane is found dead in Zoe Zola’s (another neighbor) backyard, it does not look good for Zoe.  Zoe is a little odd, but she is no murderer.  Zoe is a Little Person who loves fairies and has little fairy houses (with fairies inside) scattered around her yard (Adam Cane’s body really stood out).  Zoe also quotes from the works of Lewis Carroll (and other stories) frequently (it is annoying) and is a writer (and a dreamer).  Jenny needs to find the culprit for Zoe and her mother, Dora (who is upset over all this hoopla).  Can Jenny solve the crimes and clear Zoe’s name?  Will the unexpected appearance of her ex-husband hinder her investigation?  Then there is Jenny’s infatuation with her old high school boyfriend!

A Most Curious Murder was inspired by Alice in Wonderland, but the author did not pull it off.  The novel came across more odd than fantastical, magical, and intriguing.  I had just started the book and all these characters are thrown at you.  I found Zoe Zola to be overdone.  The author tried to put all too many zany character traits in one person and it did not work (if I met this person I would run the other way).  The constant quotes from Zoe Zola was not an endearing quality.  They made absolutely no sense (despite my reading the same pages several times) and were a hindrance to my enjoyment of the novel.  I found the writing to slightly awkward or stilted which severely lessened my enjoyment (I never got into this book) and the dialogue was stale (flat).  The mystery was simple and easily solved (you need less than 50 pages to figure it out).  I give A Most Curious Murder 2.5 out of 5 stars.  Jenny’s fascination with her old high school boyfriend who cheated on her and got another girl pregnant was just absurd (the writer could have found another way to include the character).  The idea or premise has possibilities.  With work this could be an interesting and enjoyable series.  A Most Curious Murder was just not for me (and I really wanted to like it).

The next book in A Little Library Mystery series is She Stopped for Death which will be out in January 2017.  I have not decided if I will read it or not. I received a complimentary copy of A Most Curious Murder from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.  The opinions and comments expressed above are strictly my own.

I am currently reading An Untimely Frost by Penny Richards.  I will return (fair warning) tomorrow with another review.  I will also tell you about the new book releases (quite a few books come out tomorrow).  May all of you have a delightful evening (you deserve it).  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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