Monday, April 11, 2011

Mortar and Murder (2011)

Avery Baker was "born and raised in Manhattan" and has since moved to Maine where she and her boyfriend Derek renovate and turn over houses. Both are fairly new in the business. She was a textile designer in New York City and he was a doctor who discovers he likes manual labor more than he does practicing medicine. A young Eastern European girl is found floating dead in the water and from there the mystery begins.

"Mortar and Murder" is a light and easy read, an enjoyable diversion, but plot aside, I don't buy Avery is from New York City and I don't think she makes a convincing designer. Here's the evidence:

In the opening pages Avery, nicknamed "Tink," is described as wearing a knit sweater with reindeer and snowflakes. In April! Not even acceptable at a Christmas party! Would a native of New York City, the fashion capital of America, wear a holiday sweater? I don't think so. Enough said.

Her relationship with Derek is a little suspect as well. He's tall, blond, and described as being every woman's dream guy. She's got "mello-yellow" hair, is small, bouncy, and asks a lot of annoying questions ... constantly. Good for an amateur sleuth but not very agreeable for a girl friend.

Genre: Crime Fiction
Sub-category: Cosy Mystery

  • Gentle: no graphic violence, no profanity, no explicit sex. (implied sex)
  • Detective= amateur, usually female. (Avery Baker)
  • Police force connection through spouse, lover, friend, or family member. (Wayne, the police chief friend).
  • Murders take place off-stage, usually bloodless. (drowning and blow to the head)
  • Setting = country house, small town, or village to allow for closed group of suspects where it's believable they would all know each other. (small coastal town with an array of barely inhabited surrounding islands)
Jennie Bentley is the author of "Mortar and Murder", the fourth in her cosy mystery series focusing on home renovation. Other authors of DIY cosys include the sub-topics scrapbooking, knitting, decoupage, and sewing (ugh).

To find on amazon: Mortar and Murder (A Do-It-Yourself Mystery)

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