A Fresh Beginning & Murder

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A Fresh Beginning & Murder (A Prairie Crocus Cozy Mystery Book 1)

Last Free Dates: 25th Nov 21 to 27th Nov 21
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...A brief, undemanding, diversion. For mystery readers looking for something complex or more challenging, this will possibly not be your read....

After a disastrous relationship failed, Christie has packed up her life to make a new start in a small town. The house she wants to live in is a wreck, she makes a bad impression on the first local she meets, and then she trips over a body. Now the police think she’s a murderer, and she needs to find a place to stay, clear her name, and buy a new front door…

The cover is good, the formatting and presentation are excellent. The editing and proofing has been done, and done well, but overall this book simply didn’t hold my attention.

The writing style made it hard for me to get into the story. Sentences are very short and staccato, as if they were aimed at young or early readers, and every time a new character is introduced we immediately get a description of their physical attributes in a very a/s/l vein. This is jarring when its a police officer about to question her (and who helpfully informs her that murder is terrible and against the law). I shall simply give three direct example, and note I have not changed the punctuation – or added a certain missing comma: ‘”Do you live round here?” Claudia asked.’ ‘”Mrow!” the cat responded matter-of-factly.’ ‘Claudia felt creepy and crawly.’

There were a few plot issues, for example, when she finds the body the police arrive almost immediately, but it is never clear if she called them. If she didn’t, then she should probably have wondered who did, but it is never covered. Otherwise the plot is fairly standard for a cozy mystery. It is resolved nicely through small town gossip and rumour, and if anything too easily: problems that have dragged on for years are suddenly solved with a pot of stew and a kind word.

The characters seemed a little shallow, and to be honest many of them are a little slow: the police officer accusing the only person who had no motive, means, or method, simply because she is an out of towner, and our heroine discusses the murder in earshot of not one but many of the suspects she is discussing. People take this surprisingly well.

Overall this is fun, light and utterly undemanding to a point where I had to struggle to maintain interest in places. Don’t look for depth in this, but there are a lot of shallows. It took less than forty minutes to read and that is with the tea break I took because, and I hate to say it, I got bored. The only word that comes to mind to sum this up is ‘bland’, which is I feel is unfairly damning.

For younger or undemanding readers looking for a brief diversion, this is ideal. For mystery readers looking for something complex or more challenging, this will possibly not be your read.

Rating: 3
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