Monday, January 23, 2017

"Hook, Line, and Murder", a Mystery Lovers Love or Downgrade From the Real Thing? Book Review!

Happy Monday fellow Jedi's! I would like to report that I am finally starting to feel like myself again and in honor of such, I will be starting this week off with a book review that I've been anticipating on writing, since the moment I bought this beautiful find! 

If you're unaware, I am a bit of a mystery fanatic. I rather enjoy the older, "classic" styled mysteries, particularly "Nancy Drew" and "Murder She Wrote". I've been rather fond of these two "storylines" for quite some time, but it's recently come to my attention that "Murder She Wrote" wasn't just for TV lovers. They have books as well! 

I know they've been out for quite some time now and have a semi-extensive collection of stories, but to my shock I had never heard of them before! It was only during an impromptu trip to our local Barnes and Noble, that I came across the series in the mystery section. You can imagine my heartbreak when I had come to the realization I had gone the entirety of my life (the first book was released in 1989) without so much as one peak into the readings of Jessica Fletcher. 

Yes I'm aware Jessica Fletcher is a fictional character and the books aren't REALLY written by her (or Angela Lansbury for that matter), but they are inspired by the wondrous character and therefore will more than suffice! They also correlate with the show and stick the characters I've grown to love on the screen as well. 

I immediately picked up the newest release, "Hook, Line, and Murder" and dove right in. 


Last week you may have seen that in my "Morning Routine" post, I had disclosed a sneak peak into what book I'd been reading. Well now that I've officially finished, I can give my honest opinion. 

First off, I will not be including any spoilers that you wouldn't read on the back of the book jacket. Nor will I be giving any "hints", so don't worry about the book being ruined for you as a potential read. Now that that's out of the way, let's get into it.

If you are familiar with "Murder She Wrote", it's about this jaunty woman who starts writing about murder on [sort of] a whim. Throughout her research and keen intuition, she soon finds herself helping detectives and authority figures alike, to solve complicated - even the seemingly simple - real life murders. The best part about the TV show, is that everything is laid out for you as the audience, to come to the same realization that Mrs. Fletcher has and "catch" the culprit. It's not too far fetched, nor is it extremely easy either. The perfect mix of a "Who Dun It?!" if you ask me. 

With the books, I was curious to see if the style reigned just as intriguing as the show itself. I was also a bit concerned that perhaps her books would be similar in style to that of Agatha Christie (see that book review HERE), although I don't necessarily think her books are of poor quality. 

I am happy to announce that the style is none in comparison to Agatha Christie, but identical to the show. I can't even begin to describe how exhilarating it was for me to realize that my favorite TV show was practically in book form, with new stories (and mysteries) still being written. 

This particular story is about a fishing derby that takes place in ol' Cabot Cove, Maine. Mrs. Fletcher has decided to take part in this event and had even booked a week in a cabin, so she could continue working on her current novel in peace. That's when Sheriff Metzger's wife, Maureen, sort of gets thrown into the mix - thanks Seth - but this doesn't deter Mrs. Fletcher. It simply sets things a little out of plan. 

While this normally joyous derby is set to take place, the town is a bit on edge with the news of a convicted killer has escaped from prison and is set to take revenge on those involved in his conviction. The mayor of course tries to set everyone at ease and even the sheriff reassures them that a few of the deputies will be taking part in the derby as well, meaning they will be as safe as ever. The big league authorities have even said that their search is far from Cabot Cove for the infamous murderer, as he's supposedly on the outskirts of Canada, if not IN Canada. 

With her determination and consistent positive attitude, Mrs. Fletcher - and now Mrs. Metzger - set off for a weekend of fly fishing. The only problem is, their fishing guide turns out to be someone no one expected, the murderers supposed accomplish. At first it's slightly alarming, but with this ex-con's exonerated past, the girls put aside their initial thoughts and go on with the intended plans. That is until a very important person in the "Grocery Killer's" case winds up dead and Mrs. Metzger goes missing! 

I for one found that this read kept me nose deep in the book the entire time, doing my best to gather my own clues and come to the conclusion on who was filled with deceit and what happened to poor Mrs. Metzger. I didn't feel confused, bewildered, or frustrated at all, which can be a common occurrence with mystery novels. 

Sometimes you feel flustered that you aren't able to solve the mystery along with the detective - or novelist in this case - and you just don't understand how they could have possibly thought you'd come to the same conclusion, if you weren't given all the facts yourself! Trust me, this has happened a few times in my days, where I think, "And how was I supposed to know that if you didn't tell me?!". Thankfully, that doesn't happen AT ALL. 

The flow throughout is very easy going, making for a pleasant read. It's one of the key reason's I chose to read this book in the morning during my cup of coffee AND at night after the day is set and done. A light read or a page turner, you can decide. Personally, I had to force myself to put the book down in order to get some shut eye. Which tells you just how indulged I truly became with this book. 

You may be thinking I'm partially biased towards this series, as I'm a MSW fanatic. On the contrary, I'm very critical. 

I hold MSW with such high esteem, that anything portraying the show - even the creators themselves - must be highly superb as well. To me, I picked through every single page looking for something that didn't give me the same sensation as when I was entranced by Jessica on the screen and to be quite frank, I was ready to be excruciatingly harsh. The thing was, there was nothing to criticize about. 

Same characters, same flow, same gravitating effect, same style, same love from me. 

I highly recommend this book and now that I have a second novel to read in the series (thanks Mom and Stepdad!) I will have another book review to give you all very soon. You never know, perhaps this book is a gem in the midst of dust, but all I can say for sure is that "Hook, Line, and Murder" had me hooked ti'll the last line. 

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