The Whodunit Book Club met on a dark and blustery October 30 to discuss the Reluctant Detective by P.E.I. writer, Finley Martin. Twelve members attended and one sent an assessment in absentia. The reluctant detective of the title refers to a young, recently widowed mother (Anne with an “e”) who returns to Prince Edward Island to work as a receptionist for her Uncle Billy, a private detective. When Billy dies and leaves her the agency she decides to keep it and become a detective as well.
As we went around the circle to give our assessments of the book the comments were not favourable. They included: improbable, far-fetched, unbelievable, cartoonish and silly. We discussed the structure of the book, its short chapters and uneven pacing. Most liked the way it started by introducing a new, reluctant, detective, finding her way, but then found it veered off into improbable action thriller mode. There was some humour in the book but many readers wanted more. One person pointed out inaccuracies concerning Africa and the use of the derogatory term “natives” when referring to African people. Despite these negative comments about 5 people said they would consider reading another book if it were to become a series. The Charlottetown setting rang true and the characters around the detective, although not necessarily the detective herself, were likeable. This combination has potential for another book. It was agreed that the blurb and publicity around the book created high expectations which were not met, especially when compared to other books we have been reading lately. The average rating was 5/10.
Gaye recommended a British writer, Sophie Hannah, and a book, "The Keeper of Lost Causes" by Danish writer Jussi Adler-Olsen.
Congrats to the winners of the book draw: Marlene, Cathy, Carolyn and Heather.
Many thanks to Marlene for writing this post in my absence. I did read the book and heartily agree with the above comments. I think it very unlikely that I will read another book my this author.
Next month’s book is Fall from Grace by Edmonton writer Wayne Arthurson