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carols

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Goodreads refugee and wordpress blogger

 

“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
― Voltaire

Currently reading

Magic Breaks
Ilona Andrews
The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel
Helene Wecker
Just Desserts - G.A. McKevett Two and a half stars. Unusual for series books, part of the plot line leads to our heroine being fired by the police department, which leads to subsequent start of being a private detective. Most books seem to start out with the private detective and then fill in the back story as they go. The mystery was partly credible. Her skills as a professional police detective were not, however; most of her leads seem to depend upon other people's random suggestions (such as a mysterious phone call) rather than her own investigation into the victim's life. Why did it take so long to learn he had two ex-wives, for instance? Why didn't she access financial records immediately, rather than being pointed to it later by others? She delayed talking to the chief suspect at her own chief's request, so that should have given her plenty of time to be digging into the victim's paper background. It made her less likeable as a main character; although she is supposed to be self-confident and determined, her lack of investigating made her seem incompetent to me. The author's special twist on the female detective seems to be the focus on food and Savannah's self-appreciation of her womanly curves. That fails when the police use her weight as an excuse to fire her from the department. It also became an evident writing flaw when Savannah declined to pursue the matter through her union or her own legal representative. It gradually became clear to me that this was a device leading to the opening of her own detective agency, but it felt hollow for a character that was supposed to be determined and full of moxy. It also felt hollow to be celebrating food and curves, and then to walk away from a fight where said curves are punished. The characters were detailed but seemed to acquire caricature status more than humanity as they interacted. I liked her partner; he became one of the most real to me, with unspoken loves, descriptions of daily interaction and special ones (going out to eat with a sandwich) that gave him humanity. Her sister seems blatantly a cross between the stereotypically dumb blonde and the self-absorbed teen, and a further excuse for Savannah to hate her curves. A stereotypical handsome gay man shows up, with a partner who has a million useful connections, as well as a computer whiz/secretarial whistle-blowing who seems destined to become the perky assistant. In fact, now that I analyze the book in greater detail, I feel less satisfied. Clearly a Snickers-level book; good for a fast bite in between something more satisfying.