I came across this book on my last library trip and am not going to lie to you. I picked this up because of the title and cover. The cover also states this is a mystery novel. I thought it would be a great little cozy mystery. But, I was sadly horribly disappointed with this novel. I wanted it to be so much more than it was.
In this short mystery, Lorinda Lucas has just gotten back to England after a short book tour of the states. She lives in a small community that is filled to the brim with mystery writers. Lorinda comes home to find Roscoe, her neighbor Macho’s cat, looking starved and lost. Turns out Macho has a new house guest that no one particularly cares for, especially Roscoe. Why is she here and does she have anything to do with a hit and run accident that happened while Lorinda was away?
I was thinking that this would be a really quick read for me, since it’s only about 200 pages, but I was sorely mistaken. This book took me about a week to read. I just couldn’t get into it. The writing was bland. There was zero to no tension. And the author seems to be, to me, an exceptionally judge-y person, giving into many stereotypes throughout this novel. She could even be condescending at times.
On top of all this, the plot just wasn’t compelling. It was more of a lecture than a mystery novel. There wasn’t much of a mystery here at all. The language was too “prim and proper” to ever reveal much of any insight into the actual human condition or why the plot was the way it was. I even found myself going to skim mode for about the last 80 pages, floating off and not even bother to reread any sections that got away from me. I got the general premise of what was going on, but I definitely stopped paying close attention.
Not only is the plot unsatisfactory, the characters are completely unfulfilling. They lack any sort of depth and barely have personalities. Babson did too much telling the reader of what the character was like and not enough showing through thoughts, actions, and dialogue. This, ultimately, made it really hard for me to connect with any of the characters and care about any of their problems or outcomes.
I was really excited that this little mystery was going to have cats in it, but, like the plot and characters, Babson didn’t write this part in well either. To say Lorinda and her best friend, Frankie, are obsessed with their cats would be an understatement. They feed them at the dinner table. Cook meals for them. And, I believe it’s Lorinda, takes her cats to the grocery store so the cats can pick out what they want for dinner. This was just a bit much for me. I love cats, but damn.
My final complaint is that the ending of this novel was so anticlimactic that I felt jaded. It took a long time to execute and when it was over, I didn’t care. It was a waste of my time. I did not feel like tension was built up enough or the characters developed enough throughout the text to make me care at about how this book wrapped up. It was bland, and boring, and I’m not a fan.
I’m sad that this book was such a disappointment when the cover looked so unbelievable promising, but I definitely do not recommend this book. It was boring and even had me believing I was in a reading slump, until I picked up Harry Potter (my go-to reading slump book) and discovered I just wasn’t feeling Babson’s book and was, in fact, not even near being in a reading slump. THANK GOD.