Mary Maffer's Reviews > Ghost in the Polka Dot Bikini

Ghost in the Polka Dot Bikini by Sue Ann Jaffarian
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Mar 18, 2012

it was ok
Read in December, 2011

I read this one on my recent cruise. And I wanted to like it. I really did. First of all, Miss Jaffarian manages to successfully publish books while holding down a full time job as a paralegal. That’s outstanding. Second, it has a creative enough premise: a female detective type is aided in her job by ghosts.

But the bottom line is this is a bland story. The ghosts are neither funny nor scary. They’re almost background noise, as if Miss Jaffarian does not yet embrace them as the most unique element to her story. The good-hearted heroine is…kind of…competent at what she does (except for the age old problem of stubbornly insisting that she was in no danger of confronting the suspected bad guy on her own), but she’d be so much more effective if she was somewhat flawed. This is a woman who exercises, treats her friends kindly, has a detective-ish spidey sense that someone is being untruthful, apparently eats healthy (actually, come to think of it, why must we be subjected to a long description of what she ordered at lunch?), and in general does a fair job of annoying me.

Another problem I had with this story is the lack of trust that Sue Ann Jaffarian, the writer, extends to me, the reader. While it’s somewhat cute when “Granny Apples”, the detective heroine’s 1860 ghost sidekick does something anachronistic, like rolling her eyes and saying “Whatever!”, it loses appeal when it’s instantly followed by a stern remark by the heroine, who says something to the effect of, “You’re watching entirely too much modern TV, Granny Apples!” Please. If Jaffarian isn’t going to trust that I can get a few of these jokes on my own, I’d prefer she’d just go with a simple “Badum bum!” Saves reading time.

Overall, I’d pass on this one, folks.
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