Elise Sax's "An Affair to Dismember" was obviously written with humor, filled with ironic gems such as, "I hate death. I'm scared it's contagious" and "I had stolen a cop car to speak to a known criminal about a murder, and the guy wasn't even home? Hmph." This reader was also pleased to discover very few spelling, grammar and/or punctuation errors, showing Sax evidently cared enough about her tale to make sure it was decently edited, too. However, in this reader's mind there is a fine line between too little and too much humor, especially in a mystery. This reader ended up put off a bit by so much humor because, oddly enough, the brain can be overwhelmed when processing humor due to the purpose of humor in writing is to grab the reader's attention while making a point in creative ways. In other words, too much humor can distract from the mystery of the story. This reader did laugh out loud at the examples given, and found if she put the book down for a day or two, she could better appreciate the humor offered.
Sax borrowed from other genres, mixing romance, mystery and action into the mix. This can be a good thing and many writer's are using this technique more and more. This reader applauds the use of mixing genres as it seems to make the story more believable and ultimately more interesting; it almost seems to make the book read like a movie. After all, it is rare for only one incident to happen at a time; rather, a person might see a stranger that catches their eye while off paying bills and they give a flirtatious wink as they rummage through their wallet for the credit card they plan to use, and... you get the picture. The mystery portion of the tale was quite well done with loads of interesting red herrings presented along the way. The romance portion offered two drool-worthy males - plus a lanky, accident-prone police officer - for self-deprecating protagonist Gladie, to choose from. Intrigue was offered via waiting to see if Gladie's psychic matchmaking ability would ever blossom, as her psychic grandmother, Zelda, predicted. Action abounded around the Terns family, especially when Gladie was added to the mix.
Sax's tale offered loads of comedy, action, intrigue and a touch of romance, all wrapped up in a single book. This reader really appreciated her attention to setting details as it truly allowed this reader to visualize the area. This reader wanted to empathize with Gladie, but was unable to connect with her continual self-deprecating demeanor. She was simply presented as too stupid to believe, all for comedic presentation... which ties back in to what this reader stated about too much humor can ruin a story. This reader will recommend Elise Sax as a writer.