Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Author: Lorena McCourtney

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Series: 1st book in the Ivy Malone series

Series Order:
1. Invisible (2004)
2. In Plain Sight (2005)
3. On The Run (2006)
4. Stranded (2006)

First Line: "The sign arched over the gravel driveway proclaimed Country Peace in rusty wrought iron."

Synopsis: Ivy Malone isn't your typical mystery solver. She's a retired librarian enjoying a quiet life although with her curiosity and spunk she finds herself in the middle of trouble. She has learned that as a LOL (Little Old Lady) she is often not seen by others and dismissed as old and unimportant ... so she uses that to her advantage. When a cemetery is vandalized Ivy decides to use her 'invisibility' to hide out and find out who the thugs are. Suddenly, armed only with her faith and spunky attitude Ivy finds herself in the middle of a murder of one of her neighbours.

My Thoughts: While I liked this book I don't plan to read more in this series and I'll tell all y'all why. I think the main reason is that there's not a lot of energy in the book. The main reason for this is that half way through the book the mystery takes a back seat to Ivy's Christian faith.

Personally and as a Christian myself, I have no issue with Ivy's faith being part of the storyline but it kind of surprised me because there was no mention of this being a Christian book in the book write-up. I've never read a Christian mystery before and I'm always open to reading new genres so I dove into this book. I respect and like the fact that Ivy's faith is important to her and greatly influences how she solves the mystery. I just wish the momentum of the mystery was upheld as well as the religious aspect. Her faith is mentioned in the first half of the book and is shown to be an important part of Ivy's character. But it isn't until the second half of the book that the author, I think, focuses too much on Ivy's faith even when it doesn't pertain to the mystery at all. The religion becomes the focus and the mystery is only secondary.

One issue I had with this book was that I found the 'invisibility' issue a little odd. I understand that some seniors may feel invisible to others and not taken seriously, respected etc ... but I felt like this author took it a little too far. For the first half of the book Ivy was a funny, spunky senior but when she started thinking she was actually invisible it went from spunky to odd pretty quickly. Plus, some of her actions didn't fit with how I view seniors (which may be a negative about me). I just cannot picture my Nana or Grandma jumping junkyard fences or hanging out in cemeteries on their own in the middle of the night. Just a little too unbelievable.

One of the main things that I did enjoy about this book is Ivy. I pictured Ivy as a "Betty White-type" character --- spunky & quirky, with a good sense of humour. Wonderful, I love Betty White! The other secondary characters were ok but fairly one-dimensional and cliched. Sadly, as I mentioned above, the mystery was just mediocre and I never felt like I was on the edge of my seat at any point in this book.

That being said, if you're the kind of person who hates reading profanity or gratuitous sex scenes, like a quirky character in a very light read, then this is a book for you.

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

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