Stephanie's Reviews > South of Salem

South of Salem by Janni Nell
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's review
Jun 22, 2011

liked it
Read in May, 2011

South Of Salem
An Allegra Fairweather Mystery
Kindle Edition: 373 KB
Publisher: Carina Press (June 14, 2010)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
Series (2 of 2)
Received via Net Galley.
No remuneration was exchanged.
All opinions are my own.

No Ick, A bit Cliche

For a woman from Down Under, Janni did an okay job on the geography in this book except for one area with many caves that I am unaware of being in the Boston area. I suppose it could be the Saugus Iron Mine area but I don't think so. My husband has hiked pretty much every wild area in MA and doesn't know of them. Also, the local caving clubs don't know of caves in Eastern Massachusetts. Since the geography and geology of the area are important it is hard to let that slide. This area seems more likely in Arizona.

I liked the story, It was written in a light and young style. The subject matter was pretty serious with several deaths and more to come. And I really did not know how the story would turn out. There were several characters near death, and any of them could have died at any time. Even an infant was threatened even before it could draw breath.

I like the cover of the books, depicting a woman who I assume is Allegra, and wonder why she is so self-deprecating. If her sister is more perfect than she is she must be a model. SHe is probably self-critical and always talking about her perfect sister because she grew up and really adored her sister until Lily (her sister) turned on her. And, her mother constantly talks about how perfect her sister is. how she is married to this wealthy man (step-dad's son). Anyone who ever grew up in the shadow of a perfect child, a child, often, who patterns her or his self using the parent's life as a model, you can appreciate how Allegra feels.

I don't know but if your kid follows in your footsteps it must be gratifying. Whereas, if you are a little weird, say a paranormal investigator, you don't get the praise, and often your career is derided.

Allegra and her sister, even at the wrong time, fall into their sisterly habits as if they were kids once again. Y0u know—the equivalent of "MO-OM she's looking at me!" or "Did not!" "Did so!" Of course Allegra feels bullied by Lily who, with her first breath offers a makeover for Allegra. But under the animosity there is love and they are family and Allegra, and her Guardian Angel, Casper, comes through to save the day.

There is also forbidden love! Casper and Allegra are really into each other but it is against the rules for a guardian angel to date his protectee.

While the plot and the character's issues are well drawn I found the characters them two-dimensional. The mom is only concerned about how things appear, the older sister is really trying to fit into the same mold. The men don't really have personalities other than as politicos or a means to an end. Allegra is mostly about trying not to be her mom or sister but wants her mother's approval so badly it causes her constant pain when she is the vicinity. That's why she lives 3,000 miles away. Mom probably does favor Lily because of Allegra's attachment to the disappearing Daddy.

An enjoyable read with more depth than apparent at first glance.

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