Murder on Munday

[So, this is a draft from 2010 that I’m finishing in 2013. Unfortunately, it consisted of little more than title and picture, and unlike others from that long ago, I really can’t recollect in the slightest what this book is about. I guess that tells you what kind of impression it made on me.]

Murder on Monday, by Ann Purser, is the first in a series that by this point has gone through the days of the week and is onto the hours of the day. It reminds me of the Magic Tree House titles. Mom gave me the first three a few Christmases ago, and I found two others at a used book store.

Since I don’t remember the plot much, I’m just going to quote right from Amazon: “A refreshingly working-class heroine, a devoted wife and mother of three, plays reluctant sleuth in this winning cozy from British author Purser (Pastures New), set in the quaint village of Long Farnden. When the village spinster, who lives in a thatched cottage reminiscent of a tea cozy, is strangled to death, the police are eager to seek information about the victim’s neighbors and friends. Who better to aid their investigation than Lois Meade, who as a house cleaner has ample access to what goes on behind her clients’ closed doors? Priding herself on her professional demeanor, Lois hesitates when asked by PC Keith Simpson if she’ll help, but curiosity and her recent need for personal fulfillment cause her to accept. In her quest for the killer, Lois ultimately uncovers some surprising secrets of some of Long Farnden’s most prominent citizens, shaking the foundations of this seemingly peaceful village, including those of her own house. Traditional and modern combine smoothly. The village men all own Barbour coats, while the vicar inhabits a poorly heated contemporary house overlooking the town’s sewage dump. A strong plot and believable characters, especially the honest, down-to-earth Lois, are certain to appeal to a wide range of readers.”

I like British mysteries, and I wanted to like this one, but to be honest, I didn’t really like Lois. I don’t even quite remember why I had that feeling. I think it was because the author focuses equally on Lois’s family life, especially the struggles with troubled rebellious teenage daughter Josie, and the occasional squabbles with her husband.

It’s an “English-village” mystery updated for the twenty-first century, and it does have a gritty, more modern feel than St. Mary’s Meade. The best comparison I can make, I think, is to “Midsomer Murders,” though those of more of a procedural perspective instead of amateur sleuth. My parents watch them, but I gave up because none of the episode-specific characters ever seemed very happy. Even my mom pointed out that an extremely high percent of married people seemed driven to affairs.

I’m going to give the second book a try, mostly because I have it and it might get better, but the fact that I haven’t done so in three years, even when it’s in the front row on a shelf, pretty much sums up my feelings.

Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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