Just when you think all the angles a cozy mystery can possibly come from have been covered, some lovely writer like Alexia Gordon comes along with unique characters, a unique setting, and really solid writing. Just when you start rolling your eyes at the idea of another cozy mystery featuring ghosts, Gethsemane Brown comes along in a corner of Ireland I for one have never visited on the page before, with one of the more unusual sidekicks I’ve seen.
This is one of those books I blame for keeping me coming back to the genre. It’s worth it – just about – to wade through all the bad ‘uns just to find the occasional gem like this.
One of the happy aspects of Alexia Gordon’s writing is graceful exposition. Bear with me, because I’m probably going to compliment every author I read who knows how to introduce a character without making her look in the mirror and ponder her past, or who can show Character A catching Character B up on something the latter missed without indulging in Reality-Show-Recap-itis. It seems like it’s becoming more and more rare for writers to avoid the pitfalls, so – praise where it’s due, by all means.
This book can serve as proof that the heroine of a book, or a series, doesn’t have to be warm and cuddly to be absolutely enjoyable. Gethsemane is prickly, not socially comfortable – and very unhappy to find that getting what you asked for doesn’t always mean getting what you want. Hers is the sort of story that makes me hope she doesn’t go through this level of trouble in every book – not because it’s unrealistic or repetitious or anything of the sort, but because of a deep sympathy for her – it’s stressful.
The ghostly secondary character(s) reminded me a bit of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir; I’m not sure if it’s headed in the same direction as that movie (or tv series), but I’m fine with it if it does. And I wouldn’t say that about a lesser series. But this – this was lovely, and I look forward to more.
This book came out in July 2017; the newness of the book may have something to do with the reference to “Ronald Crump”.
And if you don’t like my review, “may the cat eat you, and may the devil eat the cat.” So there. (Not really – I just wanted an excuse to quote that.)
The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.