Started on this series as it was recommended by a few readers on Goodreads. I’m on a bit of a Historical Fiction + Post WWI/II mystery journey but most books have not been able to hold a candle to Agatha Christie’s Poirot & Marple series.
This book, unfortunately, also turned out to be just as lackluster as Anna Lee Huber’s Verity Kent series, though it was much better written than the former.
The writing – It flowed well and was good enough that I didn’t feel it take away from my reading experience.
What didn’t work:
Plot. There really wasn’t much of one. It started off with a small mystery, which wasn’t really exciting and the reveal was meh. Then it suddenly backtracked and spent 10 chapters on Maisie’s past. Like…nobody asked for that. I kept at it til Chapter 14 and was growing impatient so skipped til the 3rd section and found that I couldn’t be bothered. The middle section was so unnecessary and really took me out of the story – couldn’t her past be revealed slowly over time? The mystery and suspense was very lacking in this one and when I pick a book marketed as part of the “mystery” genre, I’m expecting to be reading a properly fleshed out mystery, not one like that.
Writing. Writing was better than some books I’ve read but there was alot of telling instead of showing. Lots of long ramblings about very unimportant, inane things. I’m quite a stickler for good dialogue, as I find it can make or break my engagement in a story, but I found the dialogue between characters to be quite boring and usually added nothing much to their dynamics or the scene. Eg, there was an entire page or so of dialogue between Maisie and George about how to use a car. Didn’t serve any purpose.
Characters. I personally wasn’t too sold on Maisie, found her just alright. Her younger self seemed relatively more interesting than adult Maisie – who came across like a pompous know-it-all at times. She also could seemingly read people incredibly well, and had chills like premonitions which alerted her to things, but I found those incredibly unbelievable.
Overall rating: 2/5 Stars
I’m gonna stop with the historical fiction + mystery genre for awhile as I feel that anything I read gets unintentionally compared to the wonderful Agatha Christie’s books, and I don’t think that’s fair to the authors. I’d be returning to re-reading the entire Poirot and Marple series, just to marvel at how well Christie crafts her stories and characters. Truly magical.