This is probably the hundredth time that I am saying this on the blog that mystery stories are my comfort read. Back from a lovely but tiring trip and catching up on housework, I just wanted to read something pacy. So I picked up “Menu for Murder” by J. G. Goodhind and “As if by Magic” by Dolores Gordon-Smith.
I am reviewing them together because they are part of the same genre and yet very different.
Now I am no writer and I feel very guilty rubbishing off someone else’s printed word, hence do not judge me when I say that “Menu for Murder” was an extremely painful read. It had bad language, feeble characters and an extremely silly plot. At times the writing was so bad that I wanted to cry. When I say bad language, I dont mean incorrect or poorly formed sentence. It was just bad story telling. You know how people say that if you explain an joke you have killed it. Well thats what Goodhind does with every punchline in the book. And then there is so much sex related content – victorian corsets, homosexuals, TVs, sexual deviancies- its all there in one book. I am no prude but it all becomes irrelvant and boring after sometime. I do like my detectives to be strong independent woman, but honestly, Honey Driver is the most annoying character ever. Everytime she opened her mouth I went – please stop talking !
I just managed to finish the book and I swear I will never read J.G Goodhind again. Ever.
After that terrible ordeal, I picked up Dolores Gordon-Smith’s “As If By Magic” – a post-war Jack Haldean story and had the most amazing experience. The language is much more mature, the characters well developed and the mystery actually interesting. I loved the fact that there were multiple plots that tied in really well together at the end. The two detectives Jack Haeldean and his Scotland buddy were likeable and believable characters. Some of the platforms that the story is based on are post war England and growth in commercial aviation. Its fascinating to know that a non-stop journey from London to India was considered impossible just about 100 years ago – how far we have come! I have not much of post war literature and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well written mystery.