Imagine you were a middle-aged nurse whose elderly neighbor was killed. What would you do? Undoubtedly you'd be bothered by that kind of violence happening right next door.
You'd probably also be curious. But it wouldn't alter the usual routines of your life, you wouldn't put everything on hold to focus exclusively on figuring out who murdered your acquaintance-neighbor. That's what a typical cozy-sleuth would do, and while that's enjoyable to read about, it's far from realistic.
This story is extremely realistic in its pacing--the search for clues takes place over many weeks--and in its family, work and home details. I read the reviews that suggested the author do a lot of editing and cut out all the details of regular life. But I think those reviewers miss the point. They want to make this book into the typical cozy, but that's not what it's about. It took me a little while to get over my training as a cozy reader, but once I did and embraced the quiet, normal realism of this novel I thoroughly enjoyed it. The memoir feeling hung over it and had me rooting for these people.
The ending felt very realistic, too, without any unnecessary, Hollywoodesque adornments which is common in the cozy genre. The only negatives I have to say about the story is that I wish I'd been ready from the start for the fact that it wasn't the typical cozy--though perhaps I should have figured it out from the cover. Also, there were some odd sentence constructions here and there, but nothing too outstanding or even troubling. They certainly didn't take away from the overall, extremely well written, calm and thoughtful style. Finally, I have to say that I read this during a hurricane and I will always remember it fondly for that, because it was so wonderfully normal while all kinds of havoc was breaking loose around me.
I hope anyone who reads this book will judge it on its own merits and not compare it to the usual, enjoyable, but not very realistic cozy mystery. Several readers have mentioned the detailed descriptions that permeate the book and that tax the patience of even the most determined reader.
I, too, found this detracted from the story, but not for the amount of time it consumed as much as the reason behind the details - the protagonist is a fussy, judgmental, strident, holier-than-thou character who finds fault with nearly everyone she encounters. She is what used to be called a "fussbudget".
I read the whole book merely so I could write a review, because I couldn't understand why reviewers seemed to like it. I never did figure out why anyone would give this book a good review.
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The plot itself isn't riveting, and the ending was a letdown. The dialogue of the British characters was not authentic not every British person calls a woman "Mum" - in fact, over the year I lived in the UK, I never once heard anyone called that unless the woman was the person's actual mother. The author has the British characters speaking in a stereotypical, cartoonish manner. It's difficult to immerse yourself in a book when the protagonist is such an unlikeable person. I won't be attempting any more books by this author.
I really enjoyed this nice, clean cozy mystery. It's nicely edited and well formatted for Kindle. Sally is a heroine that I can relate to, in fact she could be my neighbor, or co-worker. She is bright, intuitive, and middle aged and her reactions to the situations she ends up in are rational and believable. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD 0. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Overview In a cozy little Midwestern town where nothing exciting ever happens, Amelia Marsh lies murdered in her own home.
Product Details About the Author. About the Author MaryJo Dawson had a long and satisfying career as a nurse, most of it specialized in Obstetrics. Average Review. Write a Review. Anonymous More than 1 year ago Although this book is over pages, it manages to be engaging and interesting all the way through. Very well written and highly recommended. No bad language, sex or other objectionable things.
Bridgette0 More than 1 year ago I don't usually read a page book--let alone read it in a week--but this is a fast-paced book that moves along quickly. Some may not enjoy all the descriptive details of the surrounding settings which move from Indiana, to Wisconsin, to Virginia, to England and back to Indiana, but the descriptions made the multiple settings come alive. Also, it was impossible to unravel the puzzle of Amelia Marsh's death until the end when all the pieces fit neatly together. Anonymous More than 1 year ago I've never read this author before but I was pleasantly surprised by the length and detail to this freebie.
If you like the idea of everyones life being a story and that something doesn't have to blow up to be a good story then I would definitely recommend this one! Anonymous More than 1 year ago Author kept my attention from first page to last page, I really enjoyed. Am looking forward to reading more by this author.
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Pocket More than 1 year ago A very well written book that keeps you captivated from the first page to the last. The characters are well written and developed into their characters. A must read for all mystery lovers. Anonymous More than 1 year ago I found it boring. It has too much everyday descriptions constantly.
The Death of Amelia Marsh: A Sally Nimitz Mystery (Book 1)
Like a movie they've stretched too long. I gave up on it at about half way through. I rarely have done that. I see some really like it and it has a slight Miss Marple feel to it but not in that league. Edited well and has a good idea of writing. Just it's boring. MaryJo sounds to me like a fabulous author, and I would enjoy very much having a chance to win her book.
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The Death of Amelia Marsh: A Sally Nimitz Mystery (Book 1) on Apple Books
Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Share this: Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window. Hi Seed! I agree. Thank you for thinking of me, Lenora! Thank you!
Congratulations, Mary Jo on the release of the 6th Sally Nimitz mystery! Middle Sister, I loved your post about Mary Jo. She is a wonderful person and author. Brava, Mary Jo!