Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Decent mystery
Cons: Uneven plot, characters could use more development.
The Bottom Line:
What held great promise
Needed another edit
For some more polish
Something’s Fishy Here
You know those annoying times when you smell something, whether good or bad, but you can’t quite find the source. That’s how I feel about Fillet of Murder. The book just didn’t quite work for me, but I’m at a loss to completely figure out why.
This book introduces us to Talia Marby, who has moved back to her small home town in Massachusetts after quitting a job she hated and dumping her fiancée. Until she figures out what her next step is, she’s gone back to work for her good friends Bea and Howie at Lambert’s Fish & Chips, their fish and chips restaurant. Since Howie is out sick right now, Bea really needs the help and is thrilled that Talia is there.
However, there is trouble in the small shopping center where Lambert’s is located. A comic book store wants to move in, and Phil Turnbull, who owns the classic lamp store across the courtyard from Lambert’s, is pressuring everyone to keep it out. After an especially hostile encounter, Talia and Bea find Phil’s dead body in the back of his store. With the police looking at Bea, can Talia find the evidence to clear her friend?
The book started out well with plenty of conflict and the murder happening fairly quickly in the story. We get plenty of suspects, and things are advancing well. And then we hit a section that seems to stall out the story. I now get what the author was trying to do, but it felt like it slowed things down and left me anxious to get back to the mystery. The climax was logical and suspenseful and wrapped up all the mystery related loose ends well, although a few things are thrown at us in the last few pages out of nowhere.
Meanwhile, I had a hard time connecting to the characters. They were good characters, but they just didn’t feel fully formed to me. Only near the end of the book did I feel like that was changing, but by that point the story was over.
There are two recipes at the end of the book, one for coleslaw and one for deep fried pickles. I must say, those pickles sure did sound good over the course of the book.
Many people seemed to love this book when it came out, which is why I decided to read it. I’m not sure what I was missing, but Fillet of Murder unfortunately didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s not that the book is bad, but it needed a little more work to iron out some issues.
NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book in hopes that I would read and review it.