2.5 stars - not a bad "first in the series" - sort of glad i read the third one first as clark seems to have worked a few kinks out in her writing. vi2.5 stars - not a bad "first in the series" - sort of glad i read the third one first as clark seems to have worked a few kinks out in her writing. villain is pretty predictable here if you think about it at all (it really can only be two people and since one is the obvious suspect you know by default it's the other...).
too much cake, not enough mystery. not lovin' the whole facebook update thing - bit cheesy and not entirely relevant (it screams "look, i'm young and hip, i referenced the facebook!")...but that's a minor issue. bigger complaint? killer that speaks in italics, choppy chapters, little mystery, obnoxious parents, glitter fondant, predictable conclusion, girl detective that accidentally stumbles upon killer as opposed to one who actually is clever enough to figure it all out on her own, too good hero jack...sigh.
so, this one was much more in line with what i'd classify "beachy summer mystery" - not terrible enough that it takes forever to convince yourself toso, this one was much more in line with what i'd classify "beachy summer mystery" - not terrible enough that it takes forever to convince yourself to get into it and not so great you wish you'd read it when you could really focus on each and every authorial decision.
honestly, i picked this one up because i assumed the author was mary higgins clark, not mary jane clark.
i'm guessing she benefits from that mistake often.
turns out, they're ex-in-laws. SO close.
piper donovan is apparently (i've not read her other mysteries, but i probably will now because they take me less than three hours from start to finish) an actress turned cake designer whose one-dimensional parents suffer from macular degeneration and a paranoid obsession with death. they also make cakes, which piper helps out with between acting jobs. which seem few and far between these days, if i'm reading these things right.
when i googled "mary jane clark" (because you know i did), i learned that she has a daughter elizabeth higgins clark who is an actress and starred temporarily in a soap opera, like piper, and who featured in an episode of "criminal minds", that piper watched in her hotel room. nice plug/moral support from mom there, kiddo!
still, the book wasn't awful. there are some pretty terrible stereotypes (um...jo-jo, the waitress/single mother of three who blackmails the lady killer???) but the pacing is quick and easily digestible and you can almost forgive the perhaps one-dimensional, stereotypical treatment of many of the minor characters.
also, if piper could stop saying things like "ridic" the world would be a happier place.
three stars for a fast-paced cadence that made me wish suddenly that i, too, was vacationing on a beach somewhere....more
okay, i've become a katherine hall page master. i can read these and know the killer before faith knows it herself. of course, she never seems to "knookay, i've become a katherine hall page master. i can read these and know the killer before faith knows it herself. of course, she never seems to "know" - she seems to just get trapped by the person at the very end and her life gets threatened. i'm not sure how i feel about that. i think every once and awhile it's important for your detective to actually SOLVE the crime, not just stumble into the nefarious perpetrator's dastardly plans at the end. because then faith goes, "oh me! oh my! i didn't know it was you! you seemed so charming not fifty pages earlier! why are you smiling at me like that?"
actually this book would have received two stars EXCEPT that page references my all-time favorite book (Cold Comfort Farm) AND quotes my all-favorite line ("I saw something nasty in the woodshed"). which makes her, by default, awesome.
but, really. think about having faith actually solve the murder next time....more
this is probably the weakest in the series by far. the murderer is painstakingly obvious - although, in fairness to white, she manages to pul2.5 stars
this is probably the weakest in the series by far. the murderer is painstakingly obvious - although, in fairness to white, she manages to pull off an almost nifty bait-and-switch with the red herring. of course, when it happened, it just made me mad that the motive made no sense whatsoever and then i kept thinking about how stupid bailey was afterwards. so maybe more harm than good???
i won't go on and on - in some ways, if you've read one, you've read them all. but i'm still hooked....more
not my favorite one of these to date. an earlier one, i thought it would give me some insight into faith and tom. it just makes me sort of hate them bnot my favorite one of these to date. an earlier one, i thought it would give me some insight into faith and tom. it just makes me sort of hate them both.
i mean, i already think they're bad parents, but now i think they're selfish and clueless, too....more
this is the first in the faith fairchild series - and one i sort of wish i'd read first (instead of starting with like the 14th book in the series).
itthis is the first in the faith fairchild series - and one i sort of wish i'd read first (instead of starting with like the 14th book in the series).
it's interesting to see where certain characters started...and what they've become, though.
of all the faiths, this was my favorite. there was no actual cookbook in the back, so that gimmick must have happened later. hall page also tried this thing where she got in the heads of many characters, not just faith. i'm glad she dropped that as well.
the killer here isn't immediately obvious although once you expend any energy thinking about the possibilities that faith ignores or forgets or doesn't string together it becomes almost painfully clear. of course, her prime suspect i knew i could eliminate because she shows up in several other books that i've already read.
whatever. still, a pretty tight debut novel. fun, cute, quick.
here's the thing - i like these mysteries, for the most part. hall does a decent job of developing characters and story. she goes back and forth betwehere's the thing - i like these mysteries, for the most part. hall does a decent job of developing characters and story. she goes back and forth between character arcs smoothly enough. and she is SO an english teacher - this book was definitely inspired by the great gatsy (violet eyes on the vapid girl who lowers her voice so men have to lean in to listen to her, come on!). at one point, i think hall eventually even fesses up to it. that's not my problem.
the mystery's resolution is, perpetually, hall's downfall.
after building a story for 200 pages or so, she will drop a conclusion in about 10. it's like "i labored this long to get you to this point and i'm done now." i don't know. i don't like it. the villains are always crazed old broads who might as well stroke their perfectly coifed coiled mustaches and annouce "i did it! and i would have gotten away with it if it weren't for this meddling caterer and her little dog, too!"
okay...faith doesn't have a dog. but you get my point.
p.s. these books also make me seriously question hall as a parent. in this installment, amy, the THIRD GRADER, is getting teased for not wearing a bra. and so they buy the eight-year-old a bra. WHAT??? maybe i really was a late bloomer, but i didn't get a bra until at least middle school! either a sad testament of the time or a moment of stupidity in the writing. decide for yourselves....more