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Customer Review

VINE VOICE
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 September 2021
It really doesn’t give me any pleasure to write this mainly negative review. I mention that because I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, in fact I gave it a glowing 5 star Amazon review when I read it last year. However, I’m afraid this second outing just didn’t cut the mustard as far as I’m concerned.

As with Mr Osman’s debut novel, I sat down with this one eagerly anticipating the cozy mystery which would no doubt await me. So, I eased into my comfy armchair, a pot of freshly brewed tea sitting on the side table, and began turning those pages (on my Kindle). And you know what, I was soon whisked back to the lovely Coopers Chase retirement village, and it was so nice to get reacquainted with Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim, those elderly, self-appointed sleuths - aka The Thursday Murder Club. For a couple of hours I was really enjoying myself, and I soon got caught up in the lives of these likeable characters. In this outing, Elizabeth receives an unexpected letter, delivered under her door, and originating from someone from her younger days. This ‘blast from the past’ character is central to a plot that eventually develops into a case for the four amateur detectives to solve. So, at this stage in the story I was hopeful that this second novel was going to be at least as good, if not better, than the first one. However, after another few chapters my heart began to sink, and I found myself struggling to keep interested in a story that slowly but surely meandered all over the place, and got sillier by the minute.

The writing here is undemanding, with short, bite-size chapters, so regardless of my misgivings, I was still able to soldier on in order to (a) find out what happens in the end, and (b) enjoy the occasional funny quip or observation. However, hand on heart, the escapades of the main and supporting characters in this somewhat crazy plot really did get farcical, and my patience was tested many times. There were all sorts of silly shenanigans going on involving a local drug dealer, £20 million in stolen diamonds, the head of an American/Mexican cartel, and several cold-blooded murderers etc. Interspersed with the action was the romantic exploits of DCI Chris Hudson, who decides to have a fling with his assistant’s mother - those interactions were often cringeworthy to say the least. In fact many of the sections relating to Chris Hudson had me rolling my eyes. One paragraph (I kid you not) is devoted to Chris’s views on peppers. Here’s a one sentence quote from that same paragraph: ‘Chris had always fantasised about being the sort of man who might buy the red, yellow and green peppers.’ 🤔 Makes me wonder how he ever made it to a DCI! Another irritation were the chapters headed: Joyce, which is where the reader gets to see what Joyce writes in her daily diary, this is ‘wittering on’ taken to a new, extreme level - you have been warned!

The bottom line is that I came away from this novel sadly disappointed. One thing is for sure, this was £9.99 NOT WELL SPENT! Despite my many quibbles though, I’ve given this book three generous Amazon stars because of the entertainment value at the beginning, and the odd moments of humour peppered throughout this nonsense. Many thanks for checking out my review, I hope you found my comments and observation throughout useful. Oh, and I’d like to leave you with a quote I rather like: A room without books is like a body without a soul….
📖 + 📚 = 😊
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