Monday, 15 February 2010

Pretty is as Pretty Dies by Elizabeth Spann Craig

Pretty is as Pretty Dies: A Myrtle Clover Mystery (Myrtle Clover Mysteries)Genre: Cozy Mystery
How I read it: Kindle for PC

What attracted me to the book: The title and the awesome cover! Love the gnomes. Maybe because I love the TV show Amazing Race.

What it worth the money? Yes.

Who should read this book: If you love cozy mysteries set in small American towns with great characters and witty banter... it's for you!

Summary (from amazon): No one in Bradley, North Carolina, is exactly crying into their sweet tea over the murder of Parke Stockard. Certainly not retired schoolteacher Myrtle Clover. Upon discovering the corpse, Myrtle is struck-not with grief, but a brilliant idea! Solving the crime would prove to everyone (especially her son Red, the police chief) that this eighty-something-year-old is not ready to be put out to pasture just yet.

The victim, a pretty but pushy town developer, had deep pockets and few friends. Myrtle can't throw one of her gaudy garden gnomes without hitting a potential suspect. Even when another murder takes place, proud Myrtle forges on, armed only with a heavy cane, a venomous tongue, and a widower sidekick.

My thoughts:This was my second cozy in a row and I wasn't too enthused to read another after not liking the first, but I'm glad I did. I enjoyed the characters in the small town and some bits were extremely funny. The sleuth in this series is an old lady, Miss Marple-ish but with attitude.

Also, what I liked is that the author never took the situations to extreme. I never said while reading, 'that would never happen.' I think that realism is important when you have as a main character a sleuth not normally involved in crime.

My editing work sometimes takes the enjoyment out of reading and the multiple POVs in each chapter threw me, but once I got used to it (and the mult POV provided humor) I dove right in. However, the author has an amazing way of describing things, I felt the small-town life and the small-town personality.

Did I figure out who the murderer was before the main character: Yes. But, the author did make me doubt myself a few times.

Bottom Line:If you enjoy cozy mysteries with interesting characters, you won't be disappointed with this book.



Unknown said...

Loved this book!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Ann--Thanks so much for your generous review! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. :)


Alan Orloff said...

Very nice recap, Ann. It's got a great smalltown feel and how can you go wrong with garden gnomes? I concur--5 coffeecups!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Sounds like a great book! And I love that cover. : D

Jemi Fraser said...

I loved this book as well!!

Ann Elle Altman said...

Marybeth, I'm sure Elizabeth will be pleased to hear that.

Elizabeth, I'm so worried when I review the work of people I know, because if I hate it, I still have to be honest. But, in this case, I truly loved it.

Alan, glad you agree.

Kimberley, yeah, the cover is so colorful and cute.

Jemi, it looks like many have read it and loved it.

Mason Canyon said...

This is a great read. And Myrtle will stay with you. You'll find yourself thinking of her when you see little old ladies at the grocery store. Can't wait for the next book in the series.

Jenny Girl said...

I also thought of the Amazing race too when I saw the cover. Last night's episode was great.

This sounds like a great little read. I'll have to check my library. Thanks!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

I love a good cozy mystery. And I fell in love with reading at an early age thanks to Miss Marple. And the thought of a good cozy with a Miss Marple with attitude sounds right up my alley. I'll check this one out at the library. (The gnomes on the cover are a definite appeal. I love that roaming gnome over at Travelocity.)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I liked her book too. She is also a great source of writing information.

As always, great review!!

Ann Elle Altman said...

Mason, at first when I started reading about Myrtle, I wasn't sure about her as a main character, but she's gutsy and has spunk. You're right, she's stuck.

Jenny, yeah, amazing race was so funny especially Miss America contestant and her comments.

Doralynn, yeah, the book is similar to a Mrs Marple but less gritty. AC wasn't really going for humor in her novels.

JW, yes, isn't that true. Elizabeth's blog is my daily read.


Helen Ginger said...

Thanks for the thorough review. I haven't read this book, but I've got it on my list.

Straight From Hel

Anonymous said...

I love reading reviews on authors I know! Thanks for sharing this!


from the desk of a writer

Altman said...

Helen, it's a fun easy enjoyable read.

Corra, I like to give reviews to people I know especially if I like the book.


Natasha said...

Love reading reviews of books by authors I know. And this is a wonderful review.
Thank you, Ann.

Ann Elle Altman said...

Rayna, glad you liked the review.


Tales of Whimsy said...

Cute cover!

I LOVE cozy mysteries so I better add this to my TBR list.

Thanks for the review :)

Ann Elle Altman said...

Juju, glad you like the cover, Elizabeth will be happy to hear that.