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The unusual shop down the road
Lois Meade Mystery: Fear on Friday - Ann Purser
Member Name: CPTDANIELS
Lois Meade Mystery: Fear on Friday - Ann Purser
Advantages: Good well thought out story with exciting conclusion
Disadvantages: Hard and slow going to start with
Lois Meade is an unusual middle age lady. She runs her own cleaning company 'New Brooms' but not only does she do that she also spends what free time she does have as a private investigator. She is planning on opening a new office in the neighbouring town of Tresham as she is getting more clients there and the obvious solution is to create an office where members of the Public can enquire and visit.
She finds herself immediately attracted to a business that shares the same road called 'Rain and Shine' that seems to attract some prominent local people to its specialist adult gifts. Meanwhile she gets a new contract to learn the Mayor's home and her cleaner is told in no uncertain terms that he cannot clean in his office and that not even his wife is allowed in his private Den. What secrets does this highly respected man have and why does his driver visit the seedy Adult ware shop by her new office?
Lois and her team find themselves drawn into an unknown world and one that is full of unusual liaisons, deceit and lies as this quiet town is rocked by new developments.
==My thoughts on this novel:==
Ultimately I found this an interesting crime thriller. But they're where times when I found it dull and slow going but as the story developed I found it improved like a mature wine. This is the second novel I have read in this series of books by author Ann Purser. In all she has written ten featuring Lois Meade as her amateur sleuth, with this being the fifth and it was written in 2005, the first seven of which all have days of the week in the books title.
What I liked about this book:
What first attracted me to buying this book was the well-constructed and interesting summary in the inside cover of it. It was three paragraphs long and really brought immediately to my attention a sense of mystery and suspense. I liked both the depth and the concepts the author introduced and I really couldn't wait to get it home and get started on it. Having quite enjoyed the gentle pace but cleverly thought out first novel I had tried from this writer.
I found the story interesting, its probably a failing in my character but I like to hear shady goings on uncovered and I find I always want to understand more about the motives of the characters involved. So when I discovered about the dubious shop that was being visited by some respected town's people I wanted to know more.
It was an interesting angle for a story and one that as the story really got going held a lot of carefully constructed mystery about it. Certainly I found after the first crime in the book things really became fascinating and the pace of the story was faster and more desire for answers were intensified.
With one of the best concluding chapters I have read in a long time where there was a lot of unanswered questions to be resolved with a great deal of suspense and still I did not have a clue about any of the answers until I read this. The author was still adding to the possibilities and it felt a bit like a classic Agatha Christie where most of the characters if you delved deep enough had reasons to commit a serious crime.
The book was full of surprises a few I could predict while others I enjoyed as they took me unawares. With the author creating several well thought out characters for this story that she only ever revealed so much about them and then as the story went on she shared a little more about them and their past. This made them all very interesting as you never knew what new information was coming your way and on whom.
I found the conclusion more than met my expectations and I thought the author had really spent a lot of time producing an answer that was credible and in keeping with both the story and the characters within it. Her writing style is easy to follow as she signposts well, I find her style of short sharp chapters good and it helps to make the book flow better.
What I disliked about this book:
Having now read the book I feel the title wasn't really in keeping with the rest of the story. I think the author did this because she was following a pattern of a different day for every book and when it came to this one she had to incorporate Friday somewhere in the title. I kept expecting some real significance in this but it never really happened. I think a different title would have been far more sensible perhaps incorporating the adult shop that featured in it maybe fornication on Friday if the author insisted on using that day of the week!!
I found the general pace for the first 100 pages slow. Yes the author was introducing both the background and the new characters within it, but I found it hard work, slow and I struggled initially to remember who was who amongst them. Indeed I thought at times of giving up, as nothing particular seemed to be happening, but there was always the felling it would burst into life, it was just a pity it took so long to do so. I think many would have lost interest as a result of this, yes when it got going it was good but it just took to long for me.
Added to this I found there was absolutely no value in the prologue or the epilogue. These where both far to short and added no value to the story, it was almost that the author had decided as an afterthought that these should be included. I think half a page prologue serves very little purpose and before I knew where I was I had finished it and got little detail out of it.
The main thing I am still unsure about even two books in is the novels main characters and whether or not I like them. I am particularly referring to Lois Meade; yes I admire her as a character and respect her smart and clever mind. But at the same time I feel I have little in common with her and that she is not the easiest character to relate to. In many ways things seem far to easy for her, she has a successful business that is expanding, a very happy home life and no apparent worries be they financial or personal. This for me makes her a dull character yes I am sure they are many people like this in the world but it just doesn't make for interesting reading. As a result of this I am never really sure if I want her to solve the crime or just something unexpected to happen to her to challenge the position she finds herself in.
Overall yes I would recommend this as a good crime thriller. However I do believe it will appeal to the more mature reader who may find the leading characters easier to relate to than I can. The story was a long time in starting but once it did it was interesting and well written, with a very good conclusion to it that really had me on tender hooks until the very end.
Publisher: Berkeley Publishing Group
Year of publication: 2005
About the author: www.annpurser.com
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is written under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
© CPTDANIELS November 2011
Summary: Slow paced thriller