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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.

A Not So Model Home (Amanda Thorne Mystery #2)

A Not So Model Home - David James

I'm not sure what to think of this book. It's formula fits the cozy bill: amateur sleuth finds herself surrounded by murder and mayhem and stumbles across clues to solve the murder. Witty dialogue and comedy abound. Light romance throughout the story.


BUT, the male author seems to see it as a goal to include as much vulgarity and sexual references as possible in 229 pages. Now I'm not at all adverse to vulgarity; swear like a drunken sailor, I say.  But it just doesn't feel like it fits here - it feels wholly abused and out of context and like the author is going for shock value and little else. The plot line itself does lend itself to the variety of sexually oriented conversations throughout the book, but those conversations felt exaggerated and over-the-top, and it just comes off silly - like a teenage boy has written it and wants to pack as many "shocking" words as possible into the dialogue. It's too bad, because there's a lot of great humour to be found as well.


Another oddity that screamed at me throughout this book and his first one in the series, Thee Bedrooms, Two Baths, One Very Dead Corpse: The author has the characters constantly repeating the names of the person they're talking to. For example in one conversation with her neighbour, Regina, she says Regina's name 7 times. As in "Regina, it was one slap. One." ... "Regina, I don't know any of the people who sent these flowers."..."They were all gay. Or at least two of them were, Regina." This conversation only goes on for about a page and a half. People don't talk like that, it's weird and annoying, and I'm pretty sure in a conversation between only two people, Regina knows not only that she's being spoken to, but that her name is Regina.  And now I've used her name 7 times in the same paragraph.  Pfft...


The mystery in the book was cleverly done, lots of suspects, lots of opportunities and a bit of a surprise twist at the end. The story kept me guessing all the way to the end. Amanda Thorne is a likeable character and she is surrounded by a lot more likeable characters. The author just needs to decide what type of book he's trying to write and to what purpose. I'm not sorry I read the book - there is a lot to enjoy, but I'll check out the next book more closely before buying it/reading it to see if the author shows any signs of growing up.