Thursday, 19 December 2013

Southern Fried (#1 Avery Andrews mystery)

Author: Cathy Pickens
Genre: Light Mystery
Type: Hardcover
Series: #1 in Avery Andrews mystery series
Source: local library
Pages: 288
Publisher: St Martin's 
First Published: February 2005
First Line: "A couple of county cop cars and several pick-ups, one loaded with an air compressor, crowded around the boat landing at Luna Lake."

Book Description from GoodReadsAvery Andres has just been downsized from her job in a law office in a North Carolina city and has returned to her small home town to lick her wounds and consider, with hesitation, trying to set up a law practice there. She quickly gets a client or two, and immediately the company building owned by one is destroyed by arson, and the body found inside was quite probably murdered. Meanwhile, an old high-school classmate has told the entire county that he is hopelessly in love with Avery and makes several attempts at spectacular suicides, each one of them carefully set up not to work. All in all, Avery finds that small-town life is not nearly so dull as she feared. And sometimes wishes it were.

My Review: My regular readers know that I don't give up on a book lightly.  For me, there's a fine line between giving a book and author their due and feeling like I'm wasting my precious reading time on a book that's just not clicking with me.

Unfortunately, this book and I weren't on the same proverbial page.  I'm all for the light, easy-reading mystery.  There's nothing better than curling up with a good book on a snowy day and a cuppa java in my other hand.  It's my bliss.  But 'light and easy' doesn't mean silly and ridiculous and that's how this book felt from the get-go for me.

My opinion is vastly different than the majority of people who have read this book but there are some things that just got in the way with me fully enjoying it.  First of all, when writing for the locals of this small southern town the author opted to write in their accent.  For example, "Tragic, itn't it?  It uz his true love for you that drove him to it."  I realize the characters are from a very small town in the South and an occasional word thrown in with the accent in tow is fine.  But I don't like to be spoon fed every little thing and if I have to decipher the majority of what these characters are saying it takes away from the momentum of the book and can get distracting.  And in this case, it did.

The mystery also seemed like it was never going to get started.  The pace was extremely slow with no burst of energy in sight.  The humour came off as trite and hokey and with the weak plot I guess this just wasn't a book for me.

In the author's defense, I think she was going for a charming, funny southern mystery but unfortunately the very slow pace of the plot, the silly banter between the locals and the lack of interest I had in the main character got in the way with me actually finishing the book.

My Rating: 0/5 stars (gave up on it)

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