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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Murder, Served Simply (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery, #3)

Murder, Served Simply - Isabella Alan

Sadly, no.  This series is done for me.

 

In addition to a sleuth with an ego the size of her home state of Texas regarding her ability to solve the murder, there are a stupid number of story inconsistencies.  It seems the book was edited on a micro level but then was either not re-read or re-read by someone who wasn't paying attention.

 

Three examples:

 

1.  In the same scene, Angie "scoops up Oliver" (her dog) and a few paragraphs later, "clutching Oliver closer to my chest" and then 2 sentences later, "Oliver's solid body pressed up against my leg.  I scratched him between the ears, his favorite spot, before setting him back on the ground."

 

So he's in her arms, clutched closer to her chest, but still able to press against her legs?  I'd say it's a big damn dog, but it's stated up front that Oliver is a French bulldog.

 

2.  In chapter 2, Angie has an encounter with an angry, somewhat volatile Amish man (Nahum) as she "shuffled forward on the ice bit by bit, so focused on not falling that I didn't hear anyone approaching".  But in chapter 27, when she's talking to Nahum again and he describes his encounter with the murder victim, Angie recalls "That must have been right before I nearly hit Nahum with my car in the parking lot."

 

3.  I don't have chapter numbers for this one but one of the characters specifically mentions helping the murder victim get her driver's license when she left the Amish community, but several chapters later, it's stated as a fact she never bothered getting her driver's license because she was moving to NYC and didn't need one.

 

Other huge turn offs included a scene where Angie hears some information and – I'm paraphrasing here but not by much – she "rubs her hands together; another potential suspect".  I like my murder mysteries, but that was just a bit too gleeful.  There's also the sorry, tired trope of the ex-returns-moroseful so we have a book-long love triangle.  And also, this christmas-themed book didn't feel christmassy - but that could have just been me being grumpy about the rest.

 

The final nail in the coffin was the obviousness of the murderer.  I can't say the author telegraphed the identity through an abuse of clues, but the motivation didn't feel subtle to me and pair that with a lack of serious suspects, and the plot just lacked.

 

I'm sad over this.  I love the Amish setting and the author does a great job of portraying the Amish community as humans instead of making them too beatific to be real.  She's also a LOT less preachy and earnest in her writing style than other Amish mysteries I've read.  She writes very likeable characters and has talent - I've read some of her other writing and really quite liked it.  But, I just didn't like this enough to continue on.