RogerBW's Blog

A Dose of Death, Gin Jones 12 September 2019

2014 mystery, first in the series about Helen Binney, ex-wife of the Governor of Massachussetts and now living in a small town and suffering from lupus erythematosus. Helen's fussy nieces insist on getting her daily visits from an overbearing nurse, who later turns up beaten to death outside Helen's house.

But, as is drilled into us repeatedly, nobody pays attention to what a silly old woman has to say, so when Helen decides that this isn't, as the police assume, an escalation by the mysterious Remote Control Burglar (who steals only remote controls and batteries), nobody listens to her. (To be fair, she has no evidence, just a feeling that the psychology doesn't match up.)

She also identifies said Burglar (with a flash of insight rather than deduction), and learns the basics of crochet.

But it's all dreary. There's no life in these people. The police are careless idiots; the town reporter is a pushy idiot (and nobody seems to think that "governor's ex-wife's nurse murdered" is a story). Helen suffers from lupus but can readily climb out of a window, and there's no mention of what's usually the most important thing in lupus management, the need to avoid sunlight. There's too much time spent establishing hooks for future stories (the "governor's ex-wife" thing is mentioned repeatedly but never seems to affect the plot) and not enough on establishing the people, whether they're the one-shot villains or the planned recurring characters.

This isn't even an offensively bad book (I got one smile from the bit where we're told Helen is completely at home with computers, but two paragraphs later she prints out fifty newspaper reports which she's planning to read); it's just bland and has nothing to say.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1