Joanne’s Mystery Picks

35260159FICTION CAN BE MURDER by Becky Clark

When Charlee Russo’s literary agent is murdered using the same method that Charlee used to kill off one of her characters, she quickly goes to the top of the suspects list.  Determined to clear her name, Charlee begins her own investigation to find the murderer.  When her car is struck from behind and then later almost T-boned by the same dark coloured SUV, she begins to think that someone doesn’t want her to continue with her investigations.  The novel continues in this pattern until the denoument where, unfortunately, Clark loses all credibility by a glaring misrepresentation of some basic science.  I was stunned that this passed the editorial process, and though trying to remember that this is a work of fiction, I just can’t let this fact go.  Clark is definitely off my list of authors to read in the future.

36134655THE LIAR IN THE LIBRARY by Simon Brett

“Pompous author is murdered after giving a book talk to an audience of interested readers”.  This could be a genre all by itself, though Brett handles the premise a bit better than some of the other books I’ve recently read (i.e. Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany) which utilize the same theme.  Giving a nod to the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, Brett provides some colour to this almost formulaic mystery.  With a pinch of humour here and there he moves us towards the “who dunnit” part of the novel where the motivations of the murderer come as quite a surprise.  This is the 18th in the Fethering Mystery Series and I’d be quite happy to read another of these cozies by Simon Brett.