Wednesday, 14 February 2018

A Great Deliverance

Author: Elizabeth George
Genre: Mystery
Type: Large Print Hardcover
Pages: 505
Series: #1 in the Inspector Lynley series
Source: Local Public Library
Publisher: MacMillian Publishing
First Published: December 31, 1990
First Line: "It was a solecism of the very worst kind."

Book Description from GoodReadsIn the breezy, very funny Murder Gets a Life, the fifth Southern Sisters mystery from Alabama writer Anne George, petite, married Patricia Ann and her thrice-widowed amazon of a sister discover that murder's a family affair, thanks to Mary Alice's new in-laws. There's a corpse with a hog-butchering knife stuck in his chest, but plot's hardly the point in a story chock-full of engaging characters and knowing humor. When Patricia Ann wonders if the murder victim was married, Mary Alice says, "Probably, his clothes matched."

My Rating: 3.5 stars

My ReviewI picked up this mystery because Elizabeth George is one of the authors that had escaped me over the years. Too many authors and not enough time. 

I knew next to nothing about this series and didn't know what to expect for characters, locale or time frame. What I got was a murder mystery with wonderfully complex, well-drawn, yet flawed main characters in Lynley and Havers. I enjoyed the contrast between aristocratic Lynley paired with chip-on-her-shoulder, working class Havers. They each have issues they're struggling with and these personal aspects were balanced well with the mystery. 

But as the story progressed I became less interested in the mystery. It got bogged down in overly descriptive prose and too many POV changes from the slew of secondary characters who were hard to keep track of. I was particularly surprised by the description of an American couple who were given rather merciless, clichéd descriptions -- especially after I learned that the author herself is American! But, included in the cast is a duck named Angus Dougal McDuck - a duck with a jaunty Scots name always gets high marks in my book. 

Overall, I'm glad I finally read Elizabeth George. While I could do with a little less descriptions and some of the issues addressed were more gruesome and shocking than expected, the combination of Lynley and Havers have me eager to read more books in this popular series. 

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