Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Murder

Holiday reading can be fun, so I picked up the 14th installment of Leslie Meier's Lucy Stone series in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day. I've read a few books in this series and knew it wasn't a "must read in order" series. Lucy is a reporter for the Pennysaver in Tinker's Cover, Maine. Her pregnant daughter-in-law is in the hospital with toxemia and her daughter is under the influence of a fanciful child convinced that fairies are real. But she finds time to investigate when local pub owner Old Dan is found, without his head. Old Dan's estranged brother arrives from Ireland with his abrasive wife, with plans to produce Finnegan's Wake with the local church. Lucy ends up in the chorus, despite a lack of singing talent, giving her a window into the drama behind the scenes. The ending will surprise no one. This isn't on my A list of mystery series, but Lucy is usually a fun diversion. I expected a blarney-infused installment to be highly entertaining, but the plot was dull and plodding. One victim's death is so far-fetched as to be laughable. Celtic/Irish lore is thrown in for effect, but nothing really sticks. The attitudes of the Tinker's Cove residents changing toward the newcomer is implausible, and the "surprise" toxemia grated on my nerves, since that's the sort of thing that's closely monitored. All in all, an installment you could skip, and not recommended for your St. Patrick's Day fix.