Saturday, May 4, 2013

Book Review: Resort to Murder by Carolyn Hart (Henrie O #6)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good story and strong characters
Cons: One dropped plot element; too much recap/description at times
The Bottom Line:
Stronger than last few
Henrie O at a wedding
Filled with more murder

Murderous Wedding in Bermuda

I must admit the last couple of books in the Henrie O series have been disappointing.  There was just too little plot to sustain a novel.  So I was worried when I realized that Resort to Murder, the sixth in the series, was longer.  Fortunately, the book was also better written and mostly justified the length.

Henrie O is the nick name that retired reporter Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins earned over the years because of all the twists in her daily life.  Her life now seems to consist of murderous trips to exotic places.

This book finds Henrie staying at a resort in Bermuda.  She's there for a wedding she expected to be invited to attend.  Her former son-in-law is remarrying.  Henrie is talked into attending to be there for her grandkids who are opposed to the marriage.

Actually, the kids of both the bride and groom are opposed, and the tension is evident from the moment the entire clan arrives at the resort.  Lloyd and Connor seem oblivious to it, however.  Actually, Connor is oblivious to most things, including how her fiancee reacts when she flirts with every guy in the place.

But the tension only builds when a ghost is spotted at the resort where they are staying.  A year ago, when Lloyd and Connor met at this resort, a man fell to his death from a tower.  Is his ghost haunting the area now?  As Henrie does her best to put the specter to rest, a dead body turns up.  Is there a connection to the ghost?  And what does it have to do with Henrie's group?

The plot starts out rather quickly and stays mostly strong for the course of the book.  I was confused by the clues until the very end.  While the solution was logical, the climax was so rushed that it completely dropped a rather major plot point.  I am sure I know what really happened, and the fact didn't bother me until the next day, so it is minor.

We are introduced to the characters all at once, which always makes me nervous.  Fortunately, they were so memorable I was able to keep them all straight.  I would hesitate to say they were original because several of them could be considered cliches.  But they were all immediately memorable.  Even better, they come out from the pages of the book as very real.  That makes what happens here much more emotionally engaging than the mysteries I normally read.

The writing is excellent, yet it also produces another flaw.  The descriptions of the resort are excellent and make it come alive.  And yet, at times the descriptions get in the way of the story.  Yes, I am an impatient reader who likes to see his descriptions interspersed with action or dialogue instead of all in one lump between scenes.  Additionally, we get a recap of potential motives and clues for all the characters every two or three chapters.  While both of these things did slow the story down at times, it wasn't as bad as in previous books.

The end result is an enjoyable book.  Yes, Resort to Murder has flaws.  But the flaws are toned down from the last couple of entries in the series.

Want more of Henrie's adventures?  Check out the Henrie O Mysteries in order.

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