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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.

On Borrowed Time (Library Lover's Mystery, #5)

On Borrowed Time - Jenn McKinlay

This was, up until about 18 months ago, one of my favorite series.  Then the author screwed with Lindsey and Sully and introduced a stupid love triangle and I got my knickers in a knot over it, but I kept reading because I love the setting and I love the characters.  So I gritted my teeth through the triangle nonsense and overlooked some rather flimsy plot lines, because I knew the author had what it took to write really well and not every book can be a winner.

 

I still feel that way, and I'll still read the next book, but wow, this was easily the poorest effort of the bunch so far.  The two men constantly sniping at each other like two wet cats in a bag was, I'm sure, meant for comedic effect but the result was just irritating and silly.  The plot line of the book was, frankly, ludicrous.  If the author wants to write a spy thriller, she should write one, but don't cram one into something meant to be a cozy mystery - it just ends up being farcical.  OH! and this scene:

 

Seriously, did the author not pay attention in science class?  She had our intrepid heroes tying fishing line between two mile markers in the bay to clothesline the bad guys as they raced through, with the result being the bad guys fall into the water.  There is no way the failure of this scenario isn't patently obvious no matter how you look at it.  Either the fishing line is rigged to "trip" the boat, in which case, the forward velocity of the speeding boat snaps the fishing line like a piece of dry spaghetti, or it's rigged to clothesline the people standing in the boat (which I believe is what the author intended, since Lindsey makes a point of "collapsing" to the floor of the boat), in which case the fishing line would slice through the people that hit it.  If they weren't immediately dismembered, they would be mortally wounded.  Dead bodies would be fished out of the bay, not snarling, angry, live ones.

(show spoiler)

 

And I don't even know what the point of the last scene in the book was but suffice it to say whatever it was, it fell flat.  Does the author actually think I'm going to believe that all those men just happened to know how to crochet?!?  I mean, all of them?

 

As I've said, Ms. McKinlay is a talented writer and she's capable of much better than this.  She's currently writing 4 different cozy series, so perhaps she's just spread a bit too thin.  I've hear rumours that she's wrapping up one of the series, so perhaps that bodes well for a return of the quality writing so many of us have enjoyed from her in the past.  I'm wiling to take my chances with the next book to find out.