Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Merely Mystery Reading Challenge - C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton

I heard about this 'alphebet series' of mystery books, and decided to randomly read one for this challenge(: (Also, I have decided to just post one book a month for the challenge. I may read more mystery books, but they won't count). Anyway, the book I chose was the third in the series - C is for Corpse.

The story is told from the first person narrative of Kinsey, a private detective. While recovering from a gunshot wound, she's hired by a rich young man called Bobby who's convinced someone is trying to kill him; although he can't remember a thing about it due to a car accident. When he dies a week later, she redoubles her efforts to find his killer. And with such a dysfunctional family, there are a lot of avenues to pursue.

At first, I didn't really like the first person narrative of Kinsey. Her "cowboy" attitude and narrative voice jars with my mental image of a female detective. Maybe it's because of all that Agatha Christie I read XD. But by the end of the book, I was comfortable with it, so this is a narrative style you can definitely get used to, if not enjoy.

This is one of those dual-plot books. The first plot (the main one) is the one I wrote about 2 paragraphs ago. The other one involves her landlord and his new (suspicious) paramour. For some reason, I preferred the plot involving the landlord to the murder mystery. Perhaps it's because the build-up to the solution was too slow and the ending too short and confusing (I still don't really understand the motive of the murderer), but the 'community plot' was much more entertaining. I enjoyed reading about how the different people in the community come together about the new lady Lila, how they go about digging up the dirt about her and so on. And of course, the resolution for that plot was much more satisfying to me.

Overall, I think this is a decent book. I like it, but it's a luke-warm kind of like. Unless the plot of the other books sound really compelling, I don't think I'm going to actively seek out the other books in the series (like I do with say, Agatha Christie, Sarah Dessen or Terry Pratchet).

This book was read for the Murder Mystery Reading Challenge and I think this can be counted as Hard-Boild/Noir. It fits the criteria about focusing more on the characters and although there are no explicit scenes (thankfully), it's still pretty bleak and cynical. At least to me that is.

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