Thanks to Marlene who kindly wrote the following summation:
Eleven members of the Whodunit Book Club met on a lovely summer evening to discuss Ingrid Thoft’s private eye thriller and first published novel entitled Loyalty. Thoft’s PI is a woman, Fina Ludlow, a law school drop-out who works as a private investigator in the firm headed by her domineering attorney father and alongside her three lawyer brothers. The Ludlow family is decidedly dysfunctional and the family firm has built its ethically-challenged reputation on personal injury cases. When Melanie, the wife of one of the brothers goes missing Fina is given the task of finding out what happened to her without involving the police. The closer she gets to solving the case the more disturbing it becomes for her personally and the more her family closes ranks, forcing her to make choices based on her loyalty to the truth and to members of her family.
A number of people commented on the similarity to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum and to Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. Most members, however, were less than enthusiastic about this novel and its feisty heroine, although one person liked it a lot. Scores ranged between 4 and 9 with the average working out to 5/10. Only one person said they would definitely read another book in the series.
Positive comments: Interesting characters: the niece, Haley and brother and sister-in-law, Scott and Patty, were likeable and sympathetic; the relationship between the madam, Bev and her doctor son, Connor was interesting; the Boston setting was authentic and well-drawn; good book cover that tied into the story; good use of humour.
Negative comments: too much detail that didn’t add to the story or character development, especially around Fina’s junk food diet and wardrobe choices; too many characters and the characters of Fina’s mafia-like family were not well developed or differentiated from each other; lacked suspense; story ended abruptly with details of what exactly happened to Melanie not satisfactorily explained.
Before the book discussion Pam shared pictures of her recent trip to London and Paris. Lucky book draw winners were: Margaret, Marilyn, Heather, and Cathy.
Please note there will be no Whodunit Book Club meeting in August. The book selection for July is Canadian, set in British Columbia, The Killer Trail by D. B. Carew.