Welcome to Murder by the Book's blog about what we've read recently. You can find our website at www.mbtb.com.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Mighty Old Bones, by Mary Saums ($6.99)

I really enjoyed Thistle and Twigg, the first book in this series. Saums has a lyrical touch to her writing, and in that book there was a great combination of funny, serious, spiritual, and practical. Phoebe Twigg is a good old Southern gal and Jane Thistle is a proper British woman with a touch of mysterious spy about her, and that's a potential goldmine of a combination.

I can't say that I enjoyed Mighty Old Bones as much. It was almost too much of every good thing I enjoyed in the first book. Every supernatural element touched on in the first book was hammered home in the second. Phoebe's scarily funny enthusiasm in learning how to shoot a gun was just plain scary this time. Added to the thickening plot were eccentric characters right and left, dogs, and romance.

It's true I obsess about the strangest things when I read a book. Practical things. For instance, Jane has her purse stolen but proceeds to her hair appointment anyway. How did she pay for the haircut? I realize that someone probably lent her the money, or in a small town like Tullulah, she might have just run up a bill. Small towns are wonderful like that. But a passing sentence would have put my unease to rest. I really want authors to help me visualize a consistent world, and I want it to be seamless.

Okay, here's another "whoa" complaint. Phoebe plops the two young children she is babysitting on her couch to watch a Schwarzenegger movie with her. And I don't think it was "Kindergarten Cop," either. Phoebe likes the ki-yah way Arnold deals with the world. But I'm not sure she should share that with young children.

All right. Enough. The bottom line is I still think Mary Saums is a good writer. I think her characters have the potential for many great adventures together. I even mostly liked Aunt Woo-woo. And I did finish the book. (For every book I read from beginning to end, there are at least 15 that bite the dust.)

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