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A Mystic Murder (Hemlock Cove) (Volume 1) Paperback – December 29, 2015
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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The characters are fun, and feel fairly fleshed out. I was happy that the mystery part of this book actually held some suspense and unfolded well; lately the cozy mystery genre has less to do with solving a puzzle and more to do with "hey, look at this wacky world I created! Aren't the characters neat!?" I loved the main character. It was refreshing that she's of later years, that she's a retired police detective, and that her life and experiences impacted her view points so clearly. It's also kinda nice that there are a selection of suitors that are available and are clearly unnecessary. That she isn't in need of them to be a fully realized person. Also, while she isn't the strongest female lead I've come across, she isn't weak.
Okay, the negatives.
Firstly, it's painfully obvious the author is from the UK, or has been there most of their life, and that's fine. But when the narrative voice is American (New Englander to be exact), there are specific word choices and turns of phrase that do not jive well and fall flat, leading to a disconnect between the reader and the voice of the character.
Secondly, the continuity and time line feel off. At one point it's stated that it's just after Halloween, or "a little past", but only a few paragraphs later it's stated to be December. Also there are little mistakes with regard to the person speaking and the person being talked to. Part way through one sentence/paragraph they switch without reason or clarity.
Lastly, the pacing could have been a little tighter and the story felt short because of it.
There's a lot of potential here and you could do worse than giving this book a try. But you can also do much better.
I only hope the other books in the series are better edited and tighter.