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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.

Every Trick in the Book (A Novel Idea Mystery #2)

Every Trick in the Book - Lucy Arlington

I read the first book in the series and there was a lot to like in it, but this one has proved to be a disappointment.


What I didn't like? Well, Lila, the main character, has started to morph into a Lifetime television movie character: "I am righteous and I am angry and I will avenge the deaths of these innocent people!" LOTS of melodrama. Then she's hiding in the back of a wardrobe, shivering in fear and making an ass out of herself. THEN she's walking into a decrepit, run-down warehouse in the "bad part of town" after dark with her barista friend, ready to take on a killer. Really?


She rushes around and into situations with no thought or intelligence, then cries and carries on when it lands her in the soup, or her accusations turn out to be wrong. I prefer my heroines rule their emotions, not allow their emotions to rule them.


Her boyfriend, Sean, the police officer, is so besotted and puppy eyed at her he just watches her commit many, many stupid acts and then just says "Oh Lila, I'm just so glad you're all right!" I'm all for a man who is in love - especially a good-looking, masculine man. But come on, grow a pair and tell Lila she's running amok. He didn't even yell at her for confronting a killer on her own?? Again, I say Really?


Overall, Lila is a character my own age and I can't possibly imagine being friends with this woman without wanting to smack her and tell her to bring it down a notch or two.


Anyhow, there is also a lot to like about this book - I LOVE the background of a Literary Agency; some of the most interesting parts of the book are the boring bits while she's working, describing the process of finding new authors. The summaries from the inquiry letters that the author includes are gems, you almost wish some of these books were available! Aside from Lila, and Sean to an extent, the characters are fun, likeable and unique - I can totally picture the Novel Idea workplace and the Literary Agent team working and interacting together. I'm not sure about the introduction of Vicky - she can still be an efficient whiz without the stick up her backside. Lila's mom is a hoot, if a bit of a current cliché in cozy fiction at the moment. She adds a bit of levity, as does Makayla, the barista.


Will I read the next one? Probably. I want to believe this author and her characters are still trying to find their footing, and improve in future adventures.