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on July 2, 2004
As a fan of Leslie Meier, naturally I ran out to get her 11th "adventure" of the Stone family. What a let down! The story line is weak...really weak. In the midst of planning of 4th of July celebration in Tinker's Cove, Meier introduces us to the mass of Nudists that have decended on her nearby town and lightly touches on possible lobster poaching.
Although there is the delightful, anticipated murder, as in her previous mysteries, the author spends an inordinate amount of time describing chickens. This avid mystery reader resented having to be told of the snapping of their necks and/or the "chicken stew" they become when they can no longer produce eggs. Perhaps Meier is into chickens these days??!! Oh and Kudo, the family pet, dies. Meier has him killed to solve a problem with her neighbors. A nice, neat little problem solver for the author..but resented by this animal lover.
Perhaps Meier should review her her next outline a bit more thoroughly next time. I'll hesitate before spending money on her next release.
Animal lovers beware!
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on June 23, 2004
Once again Lucy Stone is sleuthing. The Fourth of July is coming. At the town selectman meeting they vote to cancel the fireworks. No one can believe it. And why? To save the purple-spotted lichen, a plant that grows mainly on rocks. The town is divided. There are protests and many letters to the editor.
Then there are the naturists down at the pond. They are sunbathing nude. Pru Pratt has called for a law banning nude sunbathing. Lucy is having a hard time handling the naturists. Her boss makes her go down to interview some of them. She is appalled to find one of her own children down there sunbathing nude!
Plus there is the upcoming selectman's meeting where they will decide the fate of their dog, Kudo. He is an escape artist. This wouldn't be so bad if he didn't make a beeline for the neighbor's chicken coop every time he escaped.
Lucy's son Toby and Wesley Pratt get into a fight over lobster poaching. They are both arrested. Will Toby end up in jail?
Then Lucy finds Pru Pratt (the neighbor complaining about her dog's activities) dead, the victim of murder.
Out of concern that the naturists would participate in the parade, they cancel the parade. What is happening to this quiet little town?
Lucy decides she'd better find out who killed Pru before one of her own family is charged.
I really enjoy this series. Lucy and her family are such fun characters. They really come to life through her writing. And Tinker's Cove is such a great town. Even with all the recent problems, I'd still want to vacation there!
Leslie Meier has created such a wonderful series, I always look forward to reading the next book. I'm never disappointed. I highly recommend this book.
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on June 19, 2004
I'm a HUGE fan of the Lucy Stone series, but this book was just very disappointing (I gave it one star, but only because I love the series, not this book though). If you have not read this series, do not start with this book. This is not representative of the storylines in the series. I understand coming up with fresh ideas must be a challenge, but this book had so many flaws and gaps, I found it hard to read. But most of all, it doesn't play fair for the reader.
First of all, the victim doesn't appear until halfway through the book. I kept reading and reading and hoping and reading, but it didn't happen. I also found the book to be very disjointed, although there were a fair amount of red herrings, nothing seemed to flow in this book. However the biggest surprise was when Lucy stumbled onto the killer at the end of the book (yes, she stumbled, because she had no clue who the killer was) and this person had NEVER been in the book until this person "confessed" to the killing.
Twice, the killer had been briefly talked about (amazingly, this was only a couple of chapters prior to the confession), and not once had this person been in the storyline. When this person "confessed" there was no way the reader could have known any of what the confession was about, because the reader was not given any clues nor a chance to even learn about this person (there were a couple of little clues when this person was briefly talked about a couple of chapters before confessing...but in no way, shape or form, could the reader put together why this person killed Pru).
Also, the killer has the same first name as a victim in a past book in this series. And in the last chapter, the killer is referred to by the victim of the past book, first and LAST name!! (I don't want to say which one just in the off chance someone wants to read this book). This happens when the police are talking to Lucy about the killers confession. When I read the name, I went...huh? How can that be? I pulled out the book I thought the character was in originally, and there it was. It was a mistake, but someone somewhere should have caught it. I also would think the killer should have had a different first name (it's a bit unusual), as it's been used before earlier in the series.
As I said before, I am a huge fan of this series (and I hate writing this), but I will purchase the next book. However with this book, I felt like I wasted my money. Very rarely do I feel this way, but somewhere prior to publication, someone should have noticed all these things. There's just no excuse. I even read this book twice, thinking my mind was playing games. I still didn't get it even the second time around.
On a positive note, I found the prologue and epilogue to be really a clever idea. I also liked the fact that the kids weren't quite as smart-mouthed (although they have their moments in this book). Bill also seemed to lighten-up in this book. This book centered around Kudo, the dog, but there was no mention of the three kittens Lucy gave the children for Christmas in an earlier book. I'm not certain if they are still around, but if they are, I think it would have been nice to at least mention the cats since we heard all about every inch of their daily family lives.
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on May 26, 2004
While Tinker's Cove, Maine is in an uproar, Lucy Stone, a reporter for the weekly Pennysaver, is worried about her family, her dog and the schism in the town. Lucy's canine Kudo keeps escaping from his pen no matter what she tries to keep him home. Her neighbor Pru Pratt want the dog put down because he keeps killing her chickens. To make matters worse their sons lobster fisherman Toby Stone and Pru's Wesley get into a fight over poaching and both are arrested. The town is forced to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks because the purple spotted lichen is an endangered species that might get harmed.
The town is also suffering from an influx of naturists and Pru is calling for a law to be passed to ban nude bathing. The veterans are angry that the holiday parade is being cancelled because the naturalists want to take part in the festivities and the church groups are vehemently opposed to that. On a heartbreaking note, Wesley accidentally runs over Kudo and when Lucy decides to visit Pru she finds the woman dead, the victim of murder. Now Lucy's family are suspects because they all had a motive to kill her.
STAR SPANGLED MURDER is an enthralling cozy that verges on the farcical at times especially when one disaster after another keeps on happening to the town and the folks who live there. The heroine is determined to catch the killer so she can get rid of the pesky media, makes the Stone's good name and return to the job she quit when the editor wouldn't let her report on Pru's murder. Leslie Meir keeps getting better with every book she writes.
Harriet Klausner
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