Wouldn't Go Out Of My Way
Roped in to help with a bake sale for the school, several retired teachers end up in the vicinity of a murder. The main character, named Phyllis, can't help but ask questions and ends up butting into the investigation even though the police tell her not to.
The characters in this story were well developed and for the most part the character interactions were believable with just a few scattered throughout the book that made you stop and question what you just read. Notwithstanding, I had no problem putting the book down after each chapter I read, I didn’t have to keep reading. I just couldn’t care less what happened to the characters themselves. I was only reading the story, but not in it at all. A couple reasons for this would be:
•The way that the main character reacted to certain things in the story and then discussed it with the reader, though I had to agree with the character, was rather annoying to read several times near the beginning of the book.
•The book also sometimes read older than it was supposed to be, according to its publication date. Most likely because the characters are retired in, what I’m assuming is closer to present day, and the character mentions certain differences between what is offered now and what she grew up with. Though this does give a different perspective, which I admit is nice to have, the way it was done in this story threw me off a tiny bit when reading.
The writing was well done, with no mechanical issues I could make note of but there were a couple places were the dialogue felt contrived, such as:
•Pg. 242: Character 1 accused Character 2, character 2 denies it, character 1 gets angry and calls character 2 a liar, but then character 2 seems to suddenly remember he should be mad at character 1 for a different reason and explodes and not even in a convincing manner. (No spoiler alerts allowed. :D)
There were also a couple other spots where the dialogue didn’t even seem realistic, here’s another example:
•Pg. 175: A couple of characters are introduced to each other and based on the way one person said hello, which is rather common, they become shifty with one another and call each other unusual nicknames. It is truly the weirdest interaction between characters I have read to date.
And lastly, I questioned a few things, throughout my reading, including the plot,
•Regarding some contradictory behavior and thought processes of the main character,
•Interactions between an officer and the main character; speaking to her informally in public, but then formally in her own home, as well as saying not to go nosing around the investigation, but then openly speaking about the investigation with her.
•Some last-minute information about the investigation that should tie it all up nicely but wasn’t ever mentioned before
•And the last bit of the book seemed rather rushed versus the slower paced earlier parts of the book that felt more natural to a true investigation.
I would easily say it was a 3-star book, definitely not less than that but not more based on what I read. I liked it well enough to read another one of the books in this series, if I had nothing else at the time and if it happened to come up, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
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