Sunday, September 29, 2013
Invitation to Die - Helen Smith
In picking books for my vacation reading, since I knew I was going to try and concentrate on RIP theme related books, I did try to make sure I picked a few lighter books. This one seemed ideal – it’s set in London (one of the locations I was visiting), and even though it’s a murder mystery, it’s set at a romance novelist’s convention, so I figured it would be a good candidate for a light-hearted break.
I hate to say it, but the book’s not great. The protagonist absolutely did not grab me. I’d gotten the impression that this was the first book in the series, which it was not, which could have been part of the problem. It was also originally written as a serial, so I wonder if reading it in one shot was also part of the problem.
The basic story is that there’s a romance novelist’s convention going on in London. For some additional publicity, the organizers decide to invite some of the bloggers who have become famous reviewing their books, but two of the three are quickly killed. Emily Castle has been hired as an assistant to the head of the organization, and she has to solve the crimes.
Some of the side characters of the novelists in the group’s organizing committee are amusing, but the main cast of characters just aren’t great, and Emily’s solving of the crime is a non-event. The only reason I finished this is that it was a quick read, and I was also in non-wifi land at that point in my trip, so didn’t have access to new books at the time.