Thursday, May 15, 2008

Murder at the PTA Luncheon by Valerie Wolzien

Murder at the PTA Luncheon by Valerie Wolzien is a murder-mystery book, the murder of a story and the mystery of how it got published. Sounds scathing, I know. But let me explain, no it'll take too long to explain, let me sum up: The characters are one-dimensional, the plot is non-existent, and with the two over-worked, underpaid, and ego-warring detectives, it's a wonder the case gets solved. The author misses many opportunities to actually have a plot and decent twists. However, when the characters try to interject a plot into the story, she smartly dismisses them. The beginning was slow and the ending seemed rushed, but the alcohol flowed freely which is perhaps what I needed to fully enjoy the story.

I like murder-mysteries, especially cozies. It's not just the murder and solving the puzzle that draws me in, it's the story and the people. If a story doesn't have strong characters, then the story's not going to go anywhere. The characters in this book are more focused on gossip, sex, drinking, and "what the neighbor's will think" then the case. The author got more involved in the mundane tasks of the main character, Susan, then I felt comfortable with. I don't care about Susan worrying about cooking dinner for the family and how "experienced" she is running her household, which even she later questions if she's doing a good job of it or not. The two detectives, Brett and Kathleen, are too busy arguing with each other to make me like either one of them and I don't care how good they look. At this point, I'm rooting for the murderer. But, alas, the writer rushes to the end (here's a hint for future stories - pacing!) and the killer is caught. It's the only spoiler I'll give.

This is the first in the series, but I'm having reservations about reading anymore of the books. I've got another first in the series Shore to Die, but I'm going to wait in attempting to read that one.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Christina, your review absolutely cracked me up! I think I'll avoid this book, and I'm not sure if I personally think anything called "Shore to Die" can be good, either...but maybe I'm just not a pun kind of person.