Thursday, February 14, 2013

Murders on Elderberry Road

Author:  Sally Goldenbaum
Genre: Mystery

2 Stars

Po Paltrow belongs to the Queen Bees quilting group, and was jogging in the Kansas town she called home.  She was on Elderberry Road, and when she heard a cat's howl, she turned and saw a body inside Selma Parker's quilt shop.  Soon everyone in the quilt group knew of the murder, and Po and her friends set about finding the killer.
The first thing wrong with this book is the beginning. The author has (literally) drawn pictures of the characters, along with mini-bios. I thought the idea of a book was to describe the characters, and allow you to picture them in your own mind as you see them. As a matter of fact, none of the 'drawn characters' fit their later descriptions in the book; (i.e., the drawing of Phoebe looks a lot older than she is supposed to be in the book). It really spoils the enjoyment of reading. Note to author: You can leave in the bios, but eliminate the pictures. Allow the reader to have the enjoyment of 'seeing' the characters themselves.
I suppose she could have done this for two reasons: 1) She wanted to save herself time in having to describe the characters so just decided to give the information beforehand; or 2) She knew what the characters looked like in HER mind and wanted the reader to have that view.  Of course, I could be wrong on both counts and there may have been another reason to do so.  It's been said that Margaret Mitchell had Clark Gable in mind when she wrote Gone With the Wind.  I don't know if it's true or not, but I do know that she didn't draw pictures of him inside the book and take away the pleasure the reader has in 'seeing' how the characters look to her.  For me, that's a big turn-off and takes away my pleasure at reading the book.
 


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