A "cozy" Jeff Resnick Mystery.
Jeff Resnick is definitely out of his element when he and Maggie take a working vacation at a quaint Vermont inn. For most people, the chance to spend time with a beautiful woman in a romantic, isolated setting would be a plus, but the moment Jeff crosses the Sugar Maple Inn's threshold, his sixth sense warns him that someone is about to meet a violent death. His anxiety intensifies when he travels on one of the local roads and is nearly overwhelmed by feelings of impending doom.
Ultimately, Jeff can only find respite in his brother Richard's presence and it is only after one of the inn's guests is murdered that Richard reluctantly becomes a third wheel on Jeff and Maggie's trip. With their own lives at stake, Jeff, Maggie, and Richard must use all their wits and skill to bring a ruthless killer to justice. And if they don't, one of them might just become the next victim.
©2013 Lorraine L. Bartlett (P)2013 Lorraine L. Bartlett
I read this one after the others, even though it's set earlier in the series, so was a bit confused; I kept thinking Brenda was home recuperating from the stress of the most recent story. I see it was written in 2012, but I wasn't aware of the book until its release as an audio book.
Unfortunately, the audio edition drags down an otherwise so-so plot. The narration is just awful! I stuck it out from determination to see if the story might be worth it - not really; I ended up regretting I hadn't read a print copy instead. Instead of the voice of Buffalo native Jeff, we get a guy who sounds more like he spent his life in the New Jersey suburbs. Richard seems a bit of a well meaning, loyal sidekick, whose main feature is to be a handy doctor when needed, as well as being rich enough to splash money around as needed.
I didn't care who committed the murder, as I found the suspects largely a boring lot. Jeff's psychic ability, which comes into play regularly (more than I recall from the other stories) was the redeeming feature for me.
This one is definitely NOT a stand-alone at all. Read the first book to understand Jeff's background, and Richard's. This one adds nothing to the series as I don't recall these events affecting later plotlines.
Totally addicted! It's possible I might need Audible rehab.
I liked the concept but was a little disappointed with the previous two. I gave this next one a chance and I'm glad I did! It kept my attention to the end.
I was intrigued by the hook of the psychic detective and though all the reviews said that this was the best of the three available on Audible. I decided that I would listen to all three in order; a method that I prefer when it comes to books within a series.
Okay I will agree that this is the best of the three but it's not that much of a recommendation. There are many of the same holes and inconsistencies in this selection that made the first two average listens.
The first few chapters I found to be an incredibly slow and tedious buildup to the story; and basically a waste of time. Once again Jeff's girlfriend Maggie Brennan is presented as the love of his life; though any conceivable reason for this goes unmentioned. She has stepped into the pantheon of Susan Silverman and Lauren Crowder as the least likable characters in mystery fiction. The same character who has unceremoniously ended things with Jeff in the first two books; expects him to accept subpar accommodations and rude treatment from one of the inn's owners; a woman she's seen only rarely since high school, out of loyalty to her.
At least Jeff is less resentful of his brother Richard; a man who is totally loyal to Jeff and is seemingly willing to go any lengths to help him. Again in this book Richard places his life on hold; and in jeopardy, to come to Jeff's aid. Though in the pivotal scene the two of them act so passively and ineptly in a confrontation that if the villain hadn't been so dislikable I would have said; "go ahead and kill them, they deserve it."
The psychic portion of his mind is so attuned to nuance that he becomes uneasy when passing by a place that will not become significant for days. Then has another soon afterwards that he ignores completely.
Given my expectations I've been extremely disappointed in this series. Perhaps the writers who are the best don't need devices like psychics to provide a brace their stories.
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