Thursday, July 20, 2006

Murder on the Mind

L.L. Bartlett is a brave woman. That was the first thing that crossed my thoughts when I got into her mystery novel, “Murder on the Mind”. Murder mysteries are usually enjoyed by left-brained analytic people, so it’s a risk having a psychic protagonist, which is very much a thing for a right-brained audience (if you’re not sure what all that left-right-brained stuff means, see http://www.creativelearning.com/ where I sunlight - as opposed to moonlight - as an employee).

Yes, I know, there is a whole sub-genre devoted to paranormal mysteries, but this one was the first for me, and what an enjoyable introduction it turned out to be! The author knows her job and writes with a light pen, creating fully developed three-dimensional characters, most of whom you would love to befriend.

A word of warning for all you cosy-lovers: this book crosses the line into the macabre with the murder’s modus operandi. Nevertheless, the majority of the book is just as I like my mysteries: intelligent, easy to read, and best of all: cosy without being fluffy.

Now for a summary of the first part of the book for those of you who like that sort of thing: Jeffrey seems to be a regular guy, a bit down on his luck. His luck worsens considerably when he gets mugged and receives a blow to his head that makes him psychic. He moves in with his ultra-rich half-brother and gets them both into progressively more trouble with his investigation of a local murder. There is a romantic angle too, when the murder enquiry leads him to a girl who, in addition to being a good source of information on the victim, also makes his body go zing.

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