Friday, April 9, 2010

Murder Takes the Stage by Amy Myers **

In Murder Takes the Stage by Amy Myers, father and daughter solve a 50-year-old murder with a mixture of mysticism, technology, and luck - all in a quaint British seaside resort once frequented by Dickens.

In the Marsh and Daughter series, they solve mysteries through the use of Google, their web site, and an AI program called suspects anonymous. This technology is compliment by a premonition they feel when visiting crime scenes, possibly due to ghosts or spirits.

If you like the classic whodunit, where the detective's interview suspects and witnesses, and ponder the possibilities, this is the book for you. The self-described complicated tale has little action beyond the interrogations and analyses. Much of the narrative could have happened in a locked building where the different characters were confined to interrogation rooms.

After reading this book, I thought about the different character motivations used by novelists. I think the two most popular might be pride (Greek Tragedies, Crime and Punishment, and Pride and Prejudices) and love (The Gift of the Maji by O Henry, Romeo and Juliet, and Balzac and the Little Chinese Mistress). On the other hand, a couple of revealed motives that drive me crazy (usual in mystery novel) are: insanity and covering up a minor transgression.

If you're a hardcore mystery reader, I'd love to hear your impression, as I found the parade of characters and rehashes of possibilities tedious.

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