Amy Hobbes never expected to solve anything tougher than a crossword puzzle. When she left her job as a journalist in Southern California, she planned to give the adrenaline a rest, but her next job, managing editor of a local newspaper, delivers some surprises. After a respected Senator and World War II hero dies and two more people turn up dead, the news heats up. Both victims had ties to a hotel owned by the Senator's family. With the help of reporter pal Clarice and the new man in her life, Phil, Amy uncovers a number of shadowy figures, including a Holocaust survivor who's spent 60 years tracking down Nazi loot. It's a complex and dangerous puzzle, but Amy can't walk away until she solves it.
©2011 Michele Drier (P)2012 Michele Drier
I truly liked Amy Hobbes as a protagonist, empty nest mother of a grown daughter, who's had a couple of bad breaks with relationships: widowed young when her cop husband is killed on duty, followed by a divorce from Mr. Wrong. The relationship she re-kindles with a former colleague seemed too good to be true to me, bordering on romance genre, but I suspect it's more that I'm not a woman of a certain age who might appreciate those details more than I did.
As with most first novels, the "mystery" angle vies with series setup details, so the ending wasn't the strongest part of the story. In my case, the professional relationship between Amy and her protégé reporter Clarice made for the most compelling aspect. My memory may not be the greatest, but I don't recall a story featuring women newsroom colleagues (Amy does give a "hat tip" to Edna Buchanan as a trailblazer).
I'm looking forward to the sequel that Ms. Drier has in the works, especially if Lee Ann Howlett narrates that one as well. Her Amy voice fits the character well, but I liked Clarice's quite a bit, also - no way you'll confuse the two women!
The story was good, though not what I was expecting. The intrigue the blurb gave me was disappointed with the actual story. Also, I don't know if it was me or not but the voice seemed ... Robotic. I cringe to say that, because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but that was the feel I got.
This wasn't really my kind of book, but I know a lot of people enjoyed it from the reviews. I found the characters really interesting and the story line really good. I liked how the story switched between the past and the present and the mystery expanded between the two time lines.
I listened to the audio version and the narrator did a pretty good job. I found the reading really slow, and even 3X was too slow for me. But the characters were interesting.
Not really for me, but a good cozy mystery in history.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
Let's be clear, I would never have chosen this audiobook had the publishers summary more accurately represented the content. I wanted a fast moving murder mystery, instead I had a history lesson. I'm sorry to say, but I found this book boring, I felt obliged to listen to the end as it was gifted to me. The main character, Amy, did little to enliven the story, OK, she was starting a sexual relationship with an old friend but even this didn't lift the story. The only lively element is Clarice, how much better the story could have been had she featured as the lead character, her boring old boss could have chirped in from the sidelines. In fact Clarice seems far more suited to the role of sleuth than does Amy, as she comes over as bright, lively and inquisitive.
I did not expect the rather tedious history lesson, which, fact for fact was repeated later in the story as dialogue. I'm not sure which genre would be best suited to this work, but labelling it as a mystery is sure to mislead. Most readers would not expect prolonged tracts of historical fact, I believe the publishers summary should be rewritten to attract readers who will find it interesting
I can't fault the author for her accuracy of historical fact and I'm sure if the right audience is targeted then those readers would be very happy.
It's hard, reading tracts of history and making it sound interesting, in fact it's impossible. Lee Ann was given a very difficult job, and she did what she could with the material. However, her narrating skills did shine through. My recording was quite slow, making Lee Ann sound flat, however, cranking the speed up to 1.25 solved that problem. She portrayed Amy as a middle aged, boring woman, just as the author made her, I loved her Clarice and admired her ability to portray male characters.
I'd be happy to listen to more of her work.
I was gifted this audiobook in return for this, my honest opinion
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