Saturday, 18 June 2011

Deadly Advice

Author: Roberta Isleib
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 377
Series: Advice Column Mystery
Series Order:
1. Deadly Advice (2007)
2. Preaching to the Corpse (2007)
3. Asking for Murder (2008)
First Published: June 2007

Synopsis: Dr Rebecca Butterman is a clinical psychologist and a weekly advice columnist for her local paper. When her young neighbour, Madeline, is found dead of an apparent suicide Rebecca, as a neighbour and psychologist, feels guilty for not seeing the signs before it was too late.

Madeline's grieving mother shows Rebecca the suicide note and swears that her daughter didn't write it. The mother asks Rebecca to look into her daughter's death. At first Rebecca is doubtful that the death was anything other than a suicide ... until she stumbles upon Madeline's secret blog of her crazy dating adventures. Rebecca soon finds herself looking deep into Madeline's secrets and putting her own life in danger.

My Thoughts: This was a book that I quickly picked up while on a library visit with my kids. I love finding new mystery series and this one, with a psychologist/advice columnist sounded like a good cozy whodunnit. I noticed when I went online that it received great ratings from other readers which is why I'm confused as to why this book just didn't grab me.

With the premise of a psychologist/advice columnist I could see this series leading to so many varied and interesting storyline possibilities. Unfortunately, I found this first book in the series really dull. The pace was too slow and, while I didn't guess the culprit right away, it wasn't a surprise at the end either.

I think my main issue with this book had to do with the main character, Dr Butterman. She just wasn't a believable psychologist whom I could picture myself asking for help. Her advice was pretty obvious which is surprising with all of the psychology verbiage put in the book. As a psych major even I got tired of the psych references after awhile.

She is supposed to be around 38 years old but her physical description, clothing, mannerisms and the way she speaks conveys more of a demeanour and picture of a woman in her 60's. I had to keep reminding myself that she was my age and not my mother's.

Sadly, the only surprise that I had in this book was the subject matter of Madeline's blog. But even that felt like it was thrown in as a shock factor more than something to cause a twist in the storyline or to propel the story further.

Overall, I just didn't connect with this book or its main character and need more suspense in my mysteries to keep me interested.

My Rating: 2/5 stars (ie meh)


TheBookGirl said...

Too bad this one fell flat :(

The only kind of mysteries I tend to read are cozys, usually of the culinary variety, but I thought the psychologist/advice giver angle was a unique one.

Thanks for the heads up!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Sadly, BookGirl, this read just didn't entice me. Thankfully it was a library loan. :)

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