As usual I received this book free for the purposes of review. This time it was from NetGalley and despite that kindness I give my scrupulously honest thoughts below.
The book can be summed up pretty simply: a 60s-obsessed interior designer finds herself unwittingly embroiled in a murder mystery in which her petite pastel pillows become the center of the investigation because they just happen to be the murder weapon of choice.
On the positive side, this one pulls you along quite nicely. The characters are unique and stand out wonderfully as they’re primarily caricatures of the sort of people you might see in a movie from the 60s. Nobody is terribly over-developed and the plot skips along quite easily; you could read the whole book in a long afternoon and feel refreshed and somewhat rewarded afterwards. There’s nothing terribly complicated even at the end when the whole thing comes together; just like the cover this is pink and blue cotton candy that melts in your mouth. It should be noted too that even though this is a murder mystery the grittiest thing about it is the bloody knife on the cover. There is action but it’s very soft by the standards of the genre. Those looking for real hard-boiled noir will be disappointed but I tend to doubt anyone looking for that will bother to pick up this book in the first place.
To the negative, the book does tend to wrap up in a furious hurry. Avoiding spoilers, when finally confronted the antagonist goes into a long and unnecessary revelation of his motives and methods that seems very misplaced. The concluding action is rather soft and implausible and doesn’t quite leave you with that satisfied “wow!” that one tends to hope for in a ending. At the very end we’re left with an even less compelling cliff-hanger designed to move us along to the next book that just doesn’t catch my attention. It may very well for a feminine crowd but personally I didn’t really come away with a grand desire to read the second book in the series.
In summary, this one has lots of relateable and sympathetic characters and is a very soft and likable read if you’re not looking for grit and grime in your murder mystery. This is the archetype of the bubbly 60’s suspense novel.
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