Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Christmas Peril: A Theater Cop Mystery

Thank you for visiting today.  On October 31 Crazy Like a Fox by Rita Mae Brown will be published along with Knit to Kill by Anne CanadeoThe Murderess by Jennifer Wells will be released on November 1.  Potions and Pastries by Bailey Cates will be out on November 7.  So many delightful new books to purchase and devour.

A Christmas Peril by J.A. Hennrikus is the first story in A Theater Cop Mystery series.  Edwina “Sully” Sullivan has been the general manager of the Cliffside Theater Company in Trevorton, Massachusetts for the last five years since leaving the force (and her ex-husband).  Sully is busy with preparations for their annual performance of A Christmas Carol, but she is taking time out to attend the funeral of Peter Whitehall.  Peter’s son, Eric is a friend and Sully is tending the event for him.  When Eric ends up arrested for Peter’s murder, Sully puts her detecting skills to work finding the real killer.  Sully has her hands full with keeping the budget on track for A Christmas Carol, replacing an actor, dealing with Patrick King who cannot remember his lines and has a drinking problem (along with a huge ego), and finding Peter’s killer.

When I started reading A Christmas Peril, I went back to check that this was the first book.  I felt like I was plopped down in the middle of a series.  The book is very confusing in the beginning.  It felt like the book was written out of order (with the beginning in the middle and the middle at the beginning).  The pace of the story is a little too slow for my liking and it felt dated (like it was written for a different time period).  The book lacked flow and smooth transitions.  Many of the same details are repeated frequently (after I while I could recite them by rote).  Sully became fixated on murder (obsessed). Too much of the book is focused on conjecture and hearsay (Sully going over the same details).    I solved the crime at Peter’s funeral (it should not be that easy).  There are a couple of possible love interests for Sully in the story.  I could have done with less “flirting” and a more interesting/engaging mystery.  At the end of the story, there are dangling threads (it felt unfinished) and it was convoluted. The Christmas aspect was very light (almost non-existent).   A Christmas Peril would have benefited from more editing/rewriting.

I appreciate you reading my latest review.  I will be sharing my evaluation of The Persian Always Meows Twice by Eileen Watkins on Thursday, October 19.  Take care, have a hauntingly good day and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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