Sunday, May 12, 2013

Book Review: Docketful of Poesy by Diana Killian (Poetic Death Mysteries #4)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Enjoyable time with enjoyable characters
Cons: Some pacing issues
The Bottom Line:
One last adventure
For two charming characters
Fans will be so pleased

Lights!  Action!  Murder!!!

I honestly figured we'd seen the last of Grace Hollister and Peter Fox.  The third book in the series came out three years ago, and the publisher canceled the series.  But here they are again with Docketful of Poesy, thanks in large part to a new publisher.

Grace is an American English teacher with a specialty in the British Romantic poets.  In the first book, she was visiting the lake district of England when she met Peter Fox, a former jewel thief who now sells antiques.  Over the course of their wild adventure, they began to fall for each other, so Grace delays her return to the States indefinitely.  And they have two more adventures relating to the Romantic Poets.

This book opens with Grace back in California attempting to finalize things to move to England permanently.  But along the way, she's gotten involved in a movie.  At first it was supposed to be a documentary of the book based on her first adventure with Peter, but it looks like it has as much fiction as fact to it.

Grace is rattled when Peter shows up in LA after someone attempts to kill him in England.  But a fatal accident only makes her fears worse.  Surprisingly, the entire production moves with Grace back to the Lake District.  But she just can't shake the feeling that something is very wrong.  What is really happening?

I will admit, the beginning of this book threw me.  Grace isn't supposed to be in America.  Not to mention that with the new publisher, the writing switched from third person to first.  But it was only a couple of chapters before I was caught up in the events of the story.  The writing was still strong, so that helped make the transition easier.

The book starts rather strongly with several exciting things happening that helped grab my interest.  Unfortunately, it begins to lag about the time everyone relocates to England.  Things do pick back up for the climax, which satisfies.  It doesn't quite explain everything, but it explains enough that you can figure out the rest with a little thought.

I would have described the first three books in the series as capers tying into a different Romantic poet.  This entry is more of a traditional mystery with the poet angle being relegated to a sub-plot.  Grace spends some time researching her next book which will focus on the poetess Laetitia Elizabeth Landon.  It's interesting, but I wish it had tied into the book more than thematically.

Since it's been three years since the last book in the series, I must admit I don't remember much about the characters.  Grace and Peter were the obvious exception, and they were definitely still their old familiar selves.  The rest of the returning characters were a bit fuzzy, however.  Relationships were well defined, so that wasn't an issue.  And all the characters were truly well developed.

Docketful of Poesy isn't the strongest entry in the series, but it was certainly enjoyable.  Fans of Grace and Peter will be delighted to find them back in action.

You'll best appreciate this book if you've read the Poetic Death Mysteries in order.

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