Saturday, June 28, 2014

Brush With Death: A Gray Whale Inn Mystery #5


This is the fifth book in the series and the first one that I have read, which is unfortunate because I will probably not read any of the others in the series. It had some problems right from the start that made it difficult for me to want to finish it. The only thing that drove me toward the end was the need to know that I was right about the villain.

I did think that Karen MacInerney did a good job with setting and I felt like I was really experiencing the harsh winters of Maine. Since the main portion of this tale is set on an island off of the mainland, I also thought she did a good job of showing what island life was like. For example, you could only travel to and from the island by a ferry and it would depend on the weather whether or not you could even travel that day. The other thing that she set up nicely was the artist community feel. I can imagine how cutthroat it is in the business and that would be enhanced further on a small island.

Aside from the setting, where the problems began were with the characters themselves. They all seemed quite flat and this could be partly because I have not read the other books in the series. I didn't really get a good sense of backstory for anyone except the future mother-in-law. Even then, I found it hard to believe that she would be as brazen as to just barge into people's homes unannounced, especially with how her heritage was set up. Natalie, the inn owner and main character, seemed to be a little too eager to get involved with the crimes on the island and I had a hard time believing that she would be that clueless about putting herself in danger with all of the previous sleuthing experiences she has had. The other glaring issue was with the sexuality of some of the characters. It seemed a little unnecessary to be such a main issue, especially when it did not have anything really to do with the overall storyline.

Another issue was the plot. I think that I knew who the killer was the moment they were introduced and why. That was really disappointing. Some of the little side stories seemed a little uninteresting too like the engagement ring being fake. Unless, MacInerney is setting some of these stories up for future books in the series.

Add to all of that, the numerous editing errors, this book was very difficult to follow through with. It was  a recommendation at my local library and since I am trying to find new authors to read, I gave it a chance.

If you like mysteries that are easy to figure out then you will like the book. However, if you are like me and need a little more of a challenge, then you might want to skip this one.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

I borrowed this from my local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book. The image was borrowed from Good Reads.

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