Sunday, July 1, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥: Murder on Spyglass Lane by J.M. Griffin

Release Date: 
January 22nd, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace (self-published)
Page Count: 234
Source: Complimentary review copy provided by author, via Innovative Online Book Tours, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Sarah McDougall finds there are things in life that can't be outrun.

Artist Sarah McDougall flees from new England to Florida's west coast thinking she can escape her unwanted psychic abilities. When she finds a dead body buried beneath the sand trap on the thirteenth hole of the golf course behind her home, Sarah is quick to realize she was mistaken. She's stuck with an ability that may be her undoing.

Unable to shake the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, Sarah turns to her neighbor, and soon-to-be ally, Raven DeVille. The handsome swashbuckling pirate-like man unwillingly agrees to help Sarah investigate the murder. Before long Sarah finds Raven has secrets connected to the dead body that he's not about to share.

Surprising twists place Sarah in harm's way more than she cares for. Only persistence will save her life.
What Stephanie Thinks: Murder on Spyglass Lane has all the elements of a cozy mystery: the chaste aura (chaste, considering it surrounds a murder), the thought-, rather than action-propelled plot, subtle humor, and a happy ending. I love how it also is paranormal, involving Sarah's visions—definitely adds a fresh twist to the suspense.

As far as mysteries go, it wasn't excruciatingly exciting. To me, the plot was just kind of eh: not too clever and not too thrilling. Griffin's writing style is easy to read, but again, it's nothing out of this world. She has some glittering moments, moments in which Sarah will capture an emotion perfectly, or there's a funny rambling, but as a whole, it's very mediocre.

My favorite thing about this book were the characters, Sarah and Raven. The plot being weak, flowing too unrealistically and idealistically (Sarah professes her love for Raven only a few chapters after meeting him -_-), the characters are what made up for it. They are both charming, but if I must say, not remarkably likable. 

The resolution of the murder is predictable because the suspects are called out from the very beginning, but there is a little bump in the road that changes the outcome slightly—that part was surprising, and quite relieving, actually, for I would not have been able to praise this book if it had turned out exactly as I had expected. Overall, this book is so-so: fun as a quick chick-lit read, but the kind of story I'll most likely skim, rather than thoroughly enjoy, in the future.

Stephanie Loves: "I wanted to kiss him and wrap myself around him in the worst way."

Radical Rating: 6 hearts: Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back. ♥♥♥♥♥♥