I thought the idea of this book was great. I learned a lot about Algerians who came to France just before and during WWII and their various roles during the war. However, I thought that there was too much extraneous, superficial detail that lent nothing to the mystery. I did not need to know each volley of a tennis match among unnecessary characters. The food of the region was interesting, but I didn't need to listen to each detail of its preparation. By the time the murder was solved, I felt too LITTLE was said about the solution and I was not satisfied with the resolution. I wouldn't read (or listen) to another book in this series.
The author's heroine "tastes" words; this is called synthesia. This made the book terribly annoying to hear. Sentences were broken up with the "taste" of certain words. This, for example, is an excerpt: "She comesapplebutter over herehardboiledegg everyRitzcracker week, but only for a cupmacaroniandcheese of..." and so on. I found this horribly hard to listen to and I don't think the performer could have done much about that. But I also found the reading flat, as if the performer knew that this device was a contrivance many readers couldn't get past. Like me. I stopped listening to it, but since I wanted to know why the book got so many great reviews for the story, I looked online for a synopsis. I saw that in the text of the book, italics are placed to describe the taste the heroine senses for particular foods. However, the words still run together and I don't think I would have liked to read this book anymore that I wanted to hear it.
I think the story itself was a good one, but I couldn't get past the "tasting" of the words.
I love the humor in the Stephanie Plum series. Lula has to be one of the funniest characters Evanovich has written. But this book was definitely a re-hash of the same situations. I do expect Plum to trash cars, get covered in garbage, eat boxes of donuts and cake. But this book felt stale, short and without a significant plot. Even though the story was super short, I felt it dragged on! Like a previous reviewer, I knew the murderer early on as well. The vordo and the sex was funny, but also dragged on. Lorelai King is awesome, but I also felt cheated out of a credit. Will I "read" the next one? Yes. In the hope that Evanovich returns to her early "brilliance."
The book itself did not seem to have a lot of original ideas. I found the scientists to be exaggerated stereotypes. The narration made it worse; the accents were terrible, and it was hard to distinguish between characters.
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