Saturday, March 18, 2017

“There Goes the Bride,” by M. C. Beaton

FM's ratings:
  1. Premise 8
  2. Prose 7
  3. Plot 7
  4. Characters 8
  5. Overall 8
Comments (optional - but try to keep it under 3000 words!)

Previously, I had only been familiar with Beaton’s “Hamish Macbeth” series, which I enjoyed very much. This “Agatha Raisin” series is similar in many ways, including a prose style that borders on “terse.” The setting is a small ordinary English town rather than the dramatic Scottish Highlands, and the “supporting cast” if you will, is more closely knit with the protagonist. Whereas Hamish is a sort of Highland “sheriff,” Agatha runs her own detective agency. But the similarities actually outweigh the differences, including a protagonist who is constantly distracted with the search for companionship and the inconveniences of not having a significant other. These stories often seem to veer off on a tangent that, in fact, comes back to the main storyline. They aren’t as loosely plotted as they seem, but it can be jarring. And despite being rather tame on the surface, the “bad guys” are usually really, really bad, while the protagonist is often placed in a life-or-death struggle – not just at the end like a lot of mysteries. The lack of depth in these stories is made up for, to my mind, by a lively pace and character interaction, spiced with some nice British/Scottish humor. Great light reading when you’re in the mood for it.

Here’s the April line-up!

Dragon Tears,” by Dean Koontz [4-1-17]
Whose Little Girl Are You?,” by Bethany Campbell [4-8-17]
Alice in La-La Land,” by Robert Campbell [4-15-17]
Wolf at the Door,” by Ann Campbell [4-22-17]
The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield,” by Jack Campbell [4-29-17]

(As always, if there are any books you’d like to recommend for next month, please do so. Also, if you have already read one on our previous lists, you are invited to send your ratings and or comments for that book!)