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Sharpe Edge (Maycroft Mystery Series Book 2) Kindle Edition
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So when I say that I really enjoyed reading "Sharpe Edge" by Lisa B. Thomas it's because she has, in my opinion, raised the bar on that genre to new heights. Her characters are believable, the situations they get themselves into read as "real," and her plots are well thought out. Thomas also has a strong narrative sense and there are passages in this book that are wonderfully lyrical: The opening paragraph of one chapter describing how people feel at a funeral is but one example of how beautifully she can write.
That said, I think what I liked best about this book and the previous one in her Cozy Suburbs Mystery Series - "Sharpe Shooter" - is her portrayal of female characters. The women in this book are not super heroes; they don't have special powers and they aren't reincarnated Amazon warriors. They are, however, smart, capable, and willing to "do the right thing" when push comes to shove. They care for their families, they care for their community, and they care about their friends and neighbors.
And, like real women everywhere, their feet hurt when they've been in heels too long. That might seem like a trivial point but it makes her characters all the more real for me and so I think that it's important to note.
The plot revolves around the death of an old woman and former-journalism-teacher-turned-reporter Deena Sharpe's informal investigation into the manner in which she died. Deena is 50-something, comfortably married to a man she loves, and a kind of guardian angel to her older brother Russell, an Army veteran suffering from PTSD. She has practically no experience as an investigator so when she's asked to look into the circumstances of the woman's death she's not sure she's up to the job. She agrees to get involved, however, because she can't quite figure out how to say no when she's asked.
"Sharpe Edge" flows along at a nice even pace and the plot has a couple of nice twists to keep readers guessing as to what really happened. The climax is unexpected but, again, believable.
To sum up: A really nice read and a novel I highly recommend.
I'll do the full critique in the other books. Let's just say that, I endured a whole book of being pulled out of the story due to incorrect familial relationships. When I saw that it continued in this book, I quit.
And uncle/aunt is the sibling of your parent. Period.
The sibling of your grandparent is your grand-aunt/uncle, though many use "great" and it's widely accepted. I prefer to use the correct terminology.
The child of your grand-aunt/uncle is your first cousin once removed, not your second cousin or, as Ms. Thomas uses 90% of the time, UNCLE. Cousins aren't uncles, even if they are older than you or even a generation above you.. For those of us who understand familial relationships, it's very hard to follow a story when the wrong terms are consistently used. If you can't be bothered to get the basics down, I can't be bothered to read your books.
And, while this series hasn't been as rife with errors as many self-published/cozies, there are still some errors. Since the author is a retired English/Journalism teacher, that's a little disappointing.
The plots have been decent, but the flow needs work.