Sunday, January 21, 2018

Book Review: 'The Art of Love and Murder' by Brenda Whiteside

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Descriptive and interesting, The Art of Love and Murder captured my attention from the first.
The book’s strength is in its characters and descriptions. Lacy and Chance are well drawn, well rounded, unique and interesting. They have strengths and flaws, interesting backstory and are folks I would have liked to meet in real life. Most of the secondary characters are also well done, though some are too much one thing. The villain is too completely evil (I really prefer a villain who might also have some good points … purely evil people don’t ring true for me) and I struggled to understand why women seemed to fall at his feet. He made my skin crawl. And Kitty was a bit over the top as a floozy, making me wonder what Chance ever saw in her. He’s not a shallow guy, and you don’t get much shallower than Kitty.
The setting was a character in itself. I loved the town! The author really made it come to life, not stinting on details (but not boring the reader either).
As a huge fan of mysteries, I found this one to be a bit disappointing. We know who the villain is from the start (much of the book is told from his point of view, and there’s no effort to hide his identity) and we know who the “mysterious” artist is, even if Lacy questions it at first. The clues are laid out with a heavy hand. We don’t know all the “whys” and I suppose that makes the journey interesting, but honestly, I read this book (and enjoyed it) for the characters and their journey and not the mystery.
Despite the few flaws, the writing kept me turning pages and I never once thought about setting it down. So, if you like a little light suspense with your romance, and prefer character driven novels, I can recommend The Art of Love and Murder.



Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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