Friday, October 2, 2015

Perfidy - A Circle City Mystery - Good Storyline...But...

"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."
--Confucius--504 B.C.

Prologue

The full moon and stars sparkled atop the dark surface of the lake. The air was unseasonably cool, a sign autumn neared. The engine purred as he maneuvered the boat around a small, tree-filled island. The water was deepest here and well hidden from view of the lake houses. This was the perfect disposal spot.
"I think this is a good place," He cut the engine and turned to her. "It's really dark on this side of the lake. There aren't any houses for miles so no one will see us. Let's dump our, uh...cargo and get the hell out of here."
"Why so nervous?" she asked in a calm, smooth voice caressing his cheek. "The worst is over. No one will ever suspect you or I had anything to do with this. All we have to do is stick to the plan."
"There's just one little hitch," he said. "Mandy."
~~~


Perfidy:
A Circle City Mystery

By M. E. May

Perfidy is a great murder mystery with a story that led me close to the end before I knew what was happening...I enjoyed the story... 

But I was disappointed big time... I received a copy of the latest edition. The book has been picked up by Worldwide Mysteries [Harlequin]. Thinking it was great for the author to be picked up by a well-known publisher, I was dismayed to see that it had apparently not been edited in any way. It is full of small errors--the kind of errors that are made by the author while writing, easily caught by a good proofreader. 

Strangely, the back cover has a complete paragraph about something that apparently happened in a previous book, but then is not mentioned in this one...so the reader is left wondering what that event may have to do with the present situation...

Another editorial issue was the inconsistent use of Miss/Mrs... For instance, two mothers with two daughters may all be called Miss in one paragraph and then be referred to in the next as Mrs. Each time, the reader has to stop and think now is it the mother or the daughter this time??? I am not sure, but believe that the "miss" salutation was used by just one character as a reference to his race; however, in no other way was that character identified to justify this colloquialism. Whether by the author or the lack of proofreading, this was so poorly done that it pulled away from my overall impression of the book...Too bad...

Note that this edition is not available on Amazon, nor is there a place on the Harlequin to publish reviews... 

However, I am going to go ahead and share a little about the mystery for my readers since I won't be posting at Amazon...

Mandy Stevenson has noted that her mother has been gone from home too long. She has disappeared before but not in the same manner. Those times, she has left a note or called and has taken personal items with her. This time everything has been left behind. 

Mandy's father, a cop, doesn't seems concerned so Mandy goes to her godfather in the Missing Persons Unit and files a report. They immediately take it seriously and start an investigation...

Unfortunately at this point, I also had a problem because Mandy, who seemed so concerned about her mother, almost immediately becomes involved with several other issues that may or may not be related. A number of the same individuals are involved to explain the overlap. Mandy takes on the role of  amateur sleuth, handling the cases like many unofficial investigators in cozy mysteries... What that results in is that all of a sudden, the daughter of the missing mother is no longer apparently concerned enough to continue to investigate her mother's absence! The problem is that there is no insufficient and/or internal dialogue about what the daughter is thinking to go off to look at these other events...

So what am I saying? I did enjoy the book's mystery story line... Ultimately, it all comes out effectively and everything fits together. Yet, I got hung up on what should have occurred editorially in a new edition to correct these flaws in the development of this novel. 

Does it make sense for me to recommend it as a heavy mystery plot, but... well, in my mind, really, it should receive a total editorial update by an effective, caring editor. Sorry, I have no way to know whether this same information reflects the condition of the books now being sold on Amazon...


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