Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A DRUNKARD'S PATH by Clare O'Donohue (Plume)

I've read a number of light mysteries lately and have met detectives (all women) who are either caterers, dyers or gardeners. When I saw that this was about quilters, I wasn't excited.
Actually the quilting part worked very well. The quilting group gives a reason for the characters to work together to do their detective work. Even though there are a lot of fairly major characters, the author gave each a trait which made her identifiable: one is a grandmother, Kennette is mysterious, another opens a coffee shop.

Less realistic was Rich, the teenager who was regularly committing crimes and always being let off for them. While the crimes were always of the breaking and entering type, I doubt that he would still be on the streets for long in reality.
I found the relationship of the protagonist, Nell, and her sort of boyfriend, Jesse, more problematic. With her behavior in the book— constantly interfering in his work and going behind his back—I found it difficult to imagine why he would ever want to continue the romance or whatever it was. I appreciated that they didn't just live happily ever after, but I wondered why he would want to ever continue with her at all.
The author writes well and it was an interesting book and, all those facts about quilting were interesting, informative, and non-distracting. I have no more interest in quilting than I did at the start, but I did learn a lot.

—Stephen Hennessey

This book was provided by the publisher.

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