THE MYSTERY OF THINGS (Amateur Sleuth-Milwaukee-Cont) - Ok Murphy, Debra – 1st book
Idylls Press, 2004 – Hardcover

James Ireton is a bright Shakespearian scholar with a bright future. He is also struggling with his past, faith, a new relationship, the death of his mentor and nightmares of a knight, a lady and a dragon. Two men have now died by falling head-first from a height. Was it suicide?

This is a very difficult book for me to review as the author very kindly sent me her book. I was raised Methodist, but have a fairly decent understanding of Catholicism, and I do have a great love of Shakespeare, so I don’t think that’s it. But I read this as a mystery, and that’s where I had a problem. The story starts out with a death and there is a second death, but they almost seemed incidental to the story. I often comment on lack of character development; that wasn’t a problem here. I like good development, but I didn’t need ~38 pages of it. James struck me as immature; his juvenile recitation of previous lovers when sexually rejected by Lupe, his girlfriend, almost made this a DNF. I loved the elements of Shakespeare’s work. I felt excluded by the lack of translation of the Latin. By the time the story circled back to the mystery of the deaths, I had nearly given up. There is a good, story here which I’d probably have enjoyed with some very strong editing. Conversely, I have a friend who would love all the detail and relish looking up every Latin phrase. It just didn’t work for me. But this is purely my opinion.

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