Some Cozy Reading

So I spent the day lounging around on the couch being generally sick and catching up on my reading.

I polished off two Berkley paperback cozies I picked up the other day. I have to admit, I grabbed them because the titles appealed ("The Ghost and Mrs. McClure", "The Ghost and the Dead Deb") and because of the very sharp art-deco covers. And the hero sounded sexy. They're what I usually consider "small"; two or three hours of fast, pleasant reading, and hopefully with several sequels lined up and ready to go.

The first one was definitely a first novel. It was written in first person and made some pretty unfortunate mistakes. For one, the author had the main character flat out tell us that she was going to just use the standard spellings, but that we should remember that everyone was speaking in heavy accents. Awkward, jarring -- suddenly I'm not in the story, I'm wondering if I'm being told the story or reading it or what.

Oddly, in the first book, roughly halfway through, there are two pages, smack in the middle of a first person chapter, written in third person. It's the weirdest thing; you flip the page, and suddenly you're outside instead of inside the main character. There are several chapters written in third person from a second character's POV; I can only guess that the author decided to change that particular scene from third to first (which was a good decision) and just missed those two pages. But why didn't the editor catch them?

The second book starts off promising enough, except that the author reuses her two or three small info-dumps verbatim, including the admonition about dialects and the description of the primary setting. And the description of the hero.

Definitely unprofessional; I enjoyed the books anyway, but they would have been excellent without the weird POD-derific errors.

The author seems to really like her ghost character and the ghost shtick, and I have to say I agree with her. I really didn't notice the slightly flimsy plot or interchangeable characters because I was desperately hoping the two main leads would find a way to shack up (yes, I'm pathetic, I know). And the second book was a vast improvement in those areas over the first, which wasn't half-bad; I expect the third book in the series (due out in September) will be even better.

Oh, and I think the last smallish paperback I picked up was from Berkley as well; that one had a nearsighted heroine who, at the end of the book, threw a flashlight she'd very definitely dropped (from a twenty-foot-high scaffolding) a paragraph earlier at a tiger who was stalking her up the scaffolding's ladder.

[ETA] Did I forget to say I'll be picking up the next book in the series? I definitely enjoyed the first two despite the flaws, and I'm willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt for the next one at least.


Blogger Ashod Puck:::... said...

i think you`re really an artist... get me worte a ton of pappers... blank

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 9:53:00 PM  

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