I didn’t officially participate in Dewey’s 24 Readathon this weekend, however I read when I could and managed to finish 3 books.
The Secrets You Keep by Kate White concerns Bryn, a self-help book writer, who has recently been in a serious car accident. During her recovery, she moves to a summer residence with her husband and begins to question her accident and the events leading up to it. A murder occurs in their town exposing more secrets and lies and making her doubt her husband and marriage.
The themes explored here in this psychological mystery are memory and secrets and once again the idea that we can never really know another person. The character of Bryn was well drawn and having been to Saratoga I found the setting interesting but it was not really a well-defined. Unfortunately the killer was obvious to me fairly early on and I wasn’t at all distracted by the red herrings presented. This was an okay read for me, but to be fair that might be because I feel like I’ve read a few very similar books.
Good as Gone by Amy Gentry details what happens to a family when a missing child returns. It explores the idea, taken right from the news, of whether or not the child really is who they say they are. I find this kind of book horrifying, the idea that your child can disappear and you might never know what happened to them. The damage done to the ones left behind is tragically laid out. The twist was not what you expect and elevated this book above the others that have similar plots. I didn’t really feel a strong sense of suspense, edge of your seat style, but I did want to get the end to figure out what happened and how it would resolve.
Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson is the first cozy I have read in a while and I picked it out on impulse due to the theme. The idea is really fun, a bookstore cafe with some puzzles and cats thrown in. The side characters are a quirky lot of the comical and theatrical variety. The victim is the guy that everyone could do without, not too many tears shed here and the plot had enough clues and misdirection to make it interesting. My issue was with the protagonist, Krissy. She is beyond pushy and brusque dealing with her suspects, no gentle hinting or forming relationships to help her solve the case. She is also a slacker at work and comes across as entitled, leaving her friend and co-business owner Vicky holding the bag more often than not. When I read cozies, I expect to like the protagonist and be rooting for them, not wincing at their behavior.