- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted July 15, 2012
Author: J.M. Griffith
Title: Murder On Spyglass Lane
Publish Date: Jan 22, 2012
Review Copy Provided By: Innovative Book Tours & the author
Book Blurb: Artist Sarah McDougall flees from New England to Florida's west coast thinking she can escape her unwanted psychic abilities. When she finds a dead body buried under the sand trap on the thirteenth hole of the golf course behind her home, Sarah realizes she was mistaken. Stuck with an ability that will nearly be her undoing and unable to shake the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, Sarah turns to her neighbor for help. The swashbuckling pirate-like handsome man, has secrets of his own. The duo investigates the murder finding unexpected and surprising twists along the way that place Sarah in harms way more often than she ever thought possible.
Review: This was a cute short mystery. I guess it is a cozy mystery, but it lacks some of the elements that make most cozies popular, though I think it's possible if this becomes a series that it will pick up on them nicely.
I thought Sarah's character was unique. She could see visions. That's definitely a twist on the cozy mystery front and then there's Raven. He reminded me a little of Janet Evanovich's Ranger, more in his actions than anything else, but when you say he's pirate handsome..I think sexy, oh wait, now I'm thinking of Johnny Depp. Actually the author makes mention of Mr. Depp in the book, in relation to his Pirates character.
Its just a shame she couldn't spell his name correctly. That kinda annoyed me a little bit.
For a book that was a little over 120 pages, it dragged a bit at the beginning. There were some descriptions that made me feel this was going to be more of a thriller than a cozy.
I did like the ending. I hadn't expected the person who had actually done the killing, so that made me feel satisfied in my reading.
It was an ok read, nothing to exciting, but good for passing the time. I probably wouldn't revisit this story, but I would try the author again.
Rating: 3 flowers
Posted July 2, 2012
Murder on Spyglass Lane mixes cosy mystery with a touch of the paranormal (in Sarah MacDougall’s visions). The story opens with Sarah suffering the effects on the onset of one of these visions and I’m afraid that for whatever reason most of it just went over my head to the point where I found myself put on my guard. I don’t know whether I wasn’t paying enough attention to what I was reading or whether I missed out on something important in the narrative or what but it actually took me a while to even realise that this was an onset of a vision and not just Sarah being really peculiar.
I warmed up to it all after a little while but I’m not sure I ever really got over that original guardedness regarding Sarah’s gift and how it’s used in the story. The gift itself, though she often bemoans it and its effect on her life in general, is actually very fortuitous as it hands Sarah and Raven (the requisite male with a background that permits him to help out the female amateur investigator present in all cosy mystery novel) several answers that they’d never have got without it. That said, I’m happy that it has a negative effect on her rather than just handing over all the answers with no outward consequences.
Sarah’s amateur sleuthing is joined by the professional sleuthing of her neighbour, Raven DeVille, an insurance investigator, when she comes across the body of a prominent member of local society buried in the sand dune of the golf course just behind her house. There was a slight romance subplot between these two characters throughout the novel – one that I have to say didn’t seem to be all that based on anything. It wasn’t explored enough for me to really be invested in it. The style of the narrative, despite it being in Sarah’s first person voice, didn’t really let us into her head when it came to her interactions with others, which obviously had an adverse effect (for me) on the portrayal of this burgeoning relationship. I often found myself wanting to know Sarah’s reactions to Raven’s actions /words but instead it usually went straight to Sarah’s own vocal response. In short, the narrative didn’t really give me an adequate basis to accept this relationship from either party. I wanted to be shown more, to be led to root for this potential romance.
The mystery itself was a tad on the too direct side. The characters had unravelled it well before the climax – it was more a case of proving the blame than uncovering the culprit. I tend to prefer uncovering the culprit personally, preferably via small hints throughout the story. I also prefer it when the culprit is operating in plain sight but the author has weaved their mystery so tightly that I’m not certain which of the characters it is. Neither of these is present in Murder on Spyglass Lane with the direct style soon leading the reader to a direct answer.
Nevertheless, it was an easy read for a lazy summer afternoon that kept me entertained and didn’t lose my interest at any point. My personal favourites of this book were Sarah’s three golfing buddies – they reminded me of the interactions between my gran and my great-aunt so they immediately appealed to me!
Posted July 2, 2012
Murder on Spyglass Lane by J.M. Griffin
Release Date: January 22nd, 2012
Page Count: 234
Source: From the author, via Innovative Online Book Tours for review, as part of the Salt City book tour
Sarah McDougall finds there are things in life that can't be outrun.
Artist Sarah McDougall flees from new England to Florida's west coast thinking she can escape her unwanted psychic abilities. When she finds a dead body buried beneath the sand trap on the thirteenth hole of the golf course behind her home, Sarah is quick to realize she was mistaken. She's stuck with an ability that may be her undoing.
Unable to shake the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, Sarah turns to her neighbor, and soon-to-be ally, Raven DeVille. The handsome swashbuckling pirate-like man unwillingly agrees to help Sarah investigate the murder. Before long Sarah finds Raven has secrets connected to the dead body that he's not about to share.
Surprising twists place Sarah in harm's way more than she cares for. Only persistence will save her life.
What Stephanie Thinks: Murder on Spyglass Lane has all the elements of a cozy mystery: the chaste aura (chaste, considering it surrounds a murder), the thought-, rather than action-propelled plot, subtle humor, and a happy ending. I love how it also is paranormal, involving Sarah's visions — definitely adds a fresh twist to the suspense.
As far as mysteries go, it wasn't excruciatingly exciting. To me, the plot was just kind of eh: not too clever and not too thrilling. Griffin's writing style is easy to read, but again, it's nothing out of this world. She has some glittering moments, moments in which Sarah will capture an emotion perfectly, or there's a funny rambling, but as a whole, it's very mediocre.
My favorite thing about this book were the characters, Sarah and Raven. The plot being weak, flowing too unrealistically and idealistically (Sarah professes her love for Raven only a few chapters after meeting him -_-), the characters are what made up for it. They are both charming, but if I must say, not remarkably likable.
The resolution of the murder is predictable because the suspects are called out from the very beginning, but there is a little bump in the road that changes the outcome slightly — that part was surprising, and quite relieving, actually, for I would not have been able to praise this book if it had turned out exactly as I had expected. Overall, this book is so-so: fun as a quick chick-lit read, but the kind of story I'll most likely skim, rather than thoroughly enjoy, in the future.
Stephanie Loves: "I wanted to kiss him and wrap myself around him in the worst way."
Radical Rating: 6 hearts-Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 23, 2013
No text was provided for this review.