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

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Scoop, by Hannah Dennison ($6.99)

The blurb on the cover of this book really intrigued me: "A delightful heroine who would be right at home in a Jane Austen novel." Yes, I can see protagonist Vicky Hill perhaps as one of the daughters whom Mr. Bennet describes in Pride and Prejudice as "the silliest girls in England."

In Scoop, the second book in the series, Vicky is a news reporter for a small village in Devon who frequently Thinks! In! Grandiose! Headlines! The residents of this village are poorly stereotyped: the bullying do-gooder, the handsome love interest (?) who constantly addresses her as "doll," and the local waitress, Topaz, who is also the Lady of the Manor, plus many more.

The premise for the mystery itself was very simplistic and unrealistic. A farmer and champion hedge cutter (!) had been electrocuted while clipping a hedge near a power line. Vicky knew something was fishy because the town council had just placed a sign on the existing power pole saying, "Look Out! Look Up!" to warn people that there was an overhead power line. This seems like an incredibly implausible premise to me on which to launch an investigation, nor was it enough for this reader to continue the book. I thought the biggest mystery was why Vicky felt compelled to investigate this in the first place.

Just hedge your bets and clip on by!

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