Title: Schooled for Murder
Author: Cindy Muir
Publisher: Black Rose Writing, 200pgs
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery
This was just an okay read for me. The mystery aspect was all right if somewhat predictable (I was able to guess the culprit fairly early on due to writer telegraphing), some of the descriptions were good and I did like some of the cast of supporting characters.
I was not overly fussy for the amateur sleuth Laurel. Which when one is reading a mystery that centers around said sleuth, can be a problem. Without giving away plot points, she seemed to make mountains out of molehills over mundane things and then react in an underwhelming fashion to larger issues.
The biggest problem for me however was the writing style. The issues I had somewhat improved in the second half of the book, though they were still present. Specifically, there’s a lot of unnecessary, mundane information that feels like filler, slows down the story and makes it a boring read at times.
There’s also way too much repetition and rewording of the same idea. Examples: In a seven sentence paragraph there are these lines: “Sherry was always ready to hear and spread any kind of news.”, “And whatever she heard, she was quick to spread the news.” and “Everyone who knew Sherry was aware that she could always be counted on to share whatever she’d heard in a matter of minutes.” Plus two of the other sentences in that paragraph also relate back to that same general concept. The dog is nearly always referred to as “Chuy the chihuahua”, the cat as “Sheba the glamour cat”. I will never be able to forget that Laurel drives a red Suburban and speaking of Laurel, although she’s alone quite often, her proper name is used 500 times… in 200 pages. I admit the overuse of proper names in place of pronouns is a pet peeve of mine, but I still feel that’s too many no matter what.
It’s too bad because there were some good ideas, a good setting, a decent start at developing characters and some promising bits. But overall this book could have benefited a good deal from more editing and polishing.
Rating: 2/5 Carrots
Thanks to Netgalley for my copy of this book.