Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Pretty Short Review

On Monday, the 7th, I posted a blog (or blogged a post?) about Melodie Johnson Howe.  She's the one who was a movie actress for 10 years in her early 20s to early 30s.  And then she walked away from acting and became an author.  The book she was promoting at Kepler's is called Hold A Scorpion, which is the 2nd novel in the Diana Poole series. Here's the blurb:

Diana Poole's last movie was a flop, but she earned enough money to fix up her Malibu house.  One afternoon standing outside it, she sees a woman across the highway waving at her.  Diana doesn't recognize her. Still waving, the woman walks into the oncoming cars and is killed instantly.  Why would anyone do that?
The next night, while still horrified by the accident, Diana is held at gunpoint by a man demanding the dead woman's scorpion.  What kind of scorpion?  A live one?  A pendant?  Diana searches the accident scene and finds a diamond-encrusted object in the shape of a scorpion. Breathless, she remembers her movie star mother showing it to her the last time Diana saw her alive.
Did the woman who was waving at her want to see it?  Why did the gunman want the scorpion?  Did her mother really die of natural causes? Could it have been murder?  With the diamond-encrusted object as her only clue, Diana goes on a heart-pounding journey determined to find answers.
But asking too many questions in the wrong kind of crowd can be dangerous to Diana and to those she loves.  Especially when there is an unpredictable killer waiting for her.

This book was just okay.  In Melodie's conversation with Keith Raffel, she indicated that her influences are old-timey hard-boiled detective story writers, like Raymond Chandler and Ross McDonald.  A few years ago, I read a Chandler and didn't much care for it.  I can see his influence on Melodie's writing. She, obviously, has brought her story into the present, but you can still feel that the
book is hearkening back to another time, as far as writing style is concerned.  It's not my favorite.  I'm giving it a 2.25/4.  HOWEVER, I also have to say that because it's a fast and easy read, I would consider taking on another Diana Poole mystery (that's big of me, wouldn't you say?)

BY-THE-BY:  I have had 3 DNFs (Did Not Finish) this year.  In case you're interested, they are:
1.  My Grandmother Told Me To Tell You That She's Sorry, by Fredrik Backman.  This is the same F. Backman that wrote A Man Called Ove that I rated a 4/4.  Tough to explain.  I made it to 125.
2.  For All The Tea In China, Sarah Rose.  This was for the November Los Gatos Library Tuesday Night Book Club.  25 pages and I was done.
3.  Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler.  This one was for the November Books Inc. 4th Tuesday Book Club.  I got through 108 pages on this one.
November was obviously not a good month for me, right? WRONG.  I read 2-3.5/4 - Paris for One, by Juliet Blackwell, and Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan - and 1-3.25/4 - I'll Take You There, by Wally Lamb. Overall, I say it's been a good month so far.

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