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Tangled to Death Paperback – November 8, 2012
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About the Author
J.M. Griffin is a great mystery fan, especially when humor is involved. Having written four mysteries in the Vinnie Esposito mystery series, J.M. also has two cozy mystery series started, Faerie Cake Dead and Murder on Spyglass Lane as the first books in each series. The second novels in these two series are scheduled for release in early 2013. J.M. lives in rural Rhode Island with her husband and two cats. She is also an artist who uses the art of Zentangle as a way to relax and find inspiration for her novels.
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Top Customer Reviews
A complex "cozy" mystery, "Tangled to Death" presents a strong and feisty heroine who yearns only for peace and quiet (and yes, a little romance too), a little order to soothe the chaos her life had become. Settling in a quiet tourist-loving community in New England, Katie opens an art studio and teaches and practices "tangling," a particular type of art with which this reviewer had been unacquainted. My only wish to add anything to this mystery would be illustrations of the process of "tangled" art.
I called "Tangled to Death" complex because the author is very skilled in not telegraphing the denouement ahead of time, but instead allows readers to work their way to it, and then to be surprised, perhaps even astounded. The budding romance is also neatly interwoven, and is suitable for YA readers and above. Readers who like to curl up with a good mystery which will stretch their minds and at the same time soothe with empathetic characterizations are sure to enjoy "Tangled to Death."
The main character, Katie Greer, moves to a randomly selected a small town in New Hampshire to escape her painful past. Katie finds the dead body of Flora Middly, the nasty town busy-body, on her porch one day.
While this could have been a fresh approach at a murder-in-a-small-town story line, the author chooses to go down stale, well-worn paths. Of course, Katie and the handsome police detective investigating the crime alternately hate each other and passionately kiss, like characters in a bad bodice-ripper romance novel. Of course, Katie and her friend Gretchen feel compelled to investigate, breaking into the dead woman's house to find clues (as we all know, breaking and entering is perfectly fine as long as the main character does it to solve the crime). And of course, Katie and Gretchen find the dead woman's diary so they can solve the case (because we all know the police can't possibly be competent enough to find such things).
In addition to the "of courses", the author relies on coincidence - pardon me for being cryptic, but I'm trying not to spoil the plot - what are the odds that someone from Katie's past will just happen to be related to someone in this small town??
A very disappointing, predictable, trite read.
"Tangling" is the use of repetitive forms to create art. Information about tangling is woven throught the plot, and a piece of tangled art plays a big part in the murders. (It's better covered in the Joanna Campbell Slan/Kiki Lowenstein books.)
I gave only three stars, however because the athor needs to find another word to use besides "SMIRKED", which she used approximately 25 times. Possibly more, I lost count. This repetitive use of the word diminished my pleasure in reading, and made me want to whomp the author upside the head with a thesaurus. Aside from that, I might have given the book four stars - quick read, likeable characters, interesting story, nice touch of romance, good treadmill book.
I started reading and didn't stop till I was finished at 2.30 am.... I think that says it all!