Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mystery Books Challenge Book Review Number 3

There's an antiques dealer in New England who seems to have a knack for getting mixed up in murders. Well, in this case, actually she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and was framed for a murder she did not commit. So she waited for the police to stop suspecting her and find the real killer. And while she waited, she continued running her antiques appraisal business.
As I have said before, I love art history and the antiquarian business - especially books. But I certainly like reading about the antiques business as well.

So I grabbed Consigned to Death by Jane Cleland from a sales table recently and have just finished reading it. For a first novel it was quite good, but I have do a few nit-picks.

Firstly, I found it annoying every time Josie referred to the "whistleblowing" incident that forced her to leave New York and move to New England. I felt like I had missed a lot of the back-story, and that I had somehow missed reading the book about the whistle blowing incident. There is no such book.

Secondly, I also found it annoying everytime Josie asked her lawyer a question about police and legal procedures. If she had already gone through all this hassle in NYC, then surely she must already be familiar with said procedures? The questions were basically a plot point to show new readers exactly how police procedures work, but Cleland overdid it somewhat, in my opinion.

Thirdly the excerpt at the back for book number two grated on me because it's obvious, there is no continuity between novels. Josie has been through a harrowing murder case (in book one) for which she was the suspect, and was interrogated several times, and yet the very next time (book 2) she is questioned by a cop, she panics? Now I have not read book number 2, but I'm not sure I want to, going by the first 2 chapters excerpted at the back of book 1.

This book is not bad - but its not great either.

So if I had to choose between 2 antiques dealers who like solving mysteries - namely Josie Prescott and Lara McClintoch - I would choose Lara any day of the week, and not just because she lives in Toronto.

But I must also add, that I do LOVE the What's it Worth quiz on Jane Cleland's website.

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