Friday, December 18, 2020

Murder, Sometimes


Murder, Sometimes is the first book in the Jason Callahan paranormal cozy series by Patricia Lee Macomber. Originally released in 2014, this reformat and re-release is 176 pages and available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This is an unevenly written and oddly put together book. The style never manages to settle on slapstick comedy, paranormal cozy, romance, PI murder mystery, or light surreal horror. I found the dialogue choppy and stilted, the pacing felt off to me and I found myself constantly yanked out of my suspension of disbelief by oddly written passages, purple prose, and wrenching similes (a smile sat on his fat lips like a hastily perched bird). I did finish the book (it's short), but it was a slog in some places. The ending alone is so bizarrely placed that I literally checked to see if my review copy was missing content (it wasn't). 

There are many wonderful long running series which got off to a rocky start. This could possibly be one of them. There are glimmers of an interesting and engaging story. Mostly, it's a short novel in desperate need of a ruthless editor or three and some serious plot tightening. 

The author/publisher have included a 2 chapter preview of the 2nd book in the series Dead, Sometimes which did not, alas, fill me with desire to chase down and read any further.

Two and a half stars. Possibly worth a look for fans of the subgenre (very very light paranormal comic cozies). 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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