My month of short and shortish stories continues with Annie Banner, Wedding Planner, what the author calls a cozy mystery. I didn't know what a cozy mystery was going in, but I think it means a quick mystery you can cozy up to.
Anyway, this is another one of those stories that the author offered to me in exchange for a review. But unlike The Tales of Arva (previous post), this one didn't fall into one of the genres I usually read. However, I took it as an opportunity to broaden my horizons and agreed to do the review anyway.
I've since discovered that this is just the first of many Annie Banner, Wedding Planner cozy mysteries. The author plans to publish them quite frequently. As such, I've included a link to the author's Amazon page at the end of this post, so those who are interested can sign up to receive notifications when new ones are released.
Annie Banner, Wedding Planner by T.G. Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Annie Banner and her mom, Dana, run a successful wedding planner business. But this time, a routine visit takes strange turn and the duo find themselves in the middle of a mystery.
So, let me start with what I enjoyed about this story. First up, the title and cover are adorable. Also, Annie's son and her grandma are funny. The son because he's a six year old ball of energy who also happens to be an expert at squeezing extra bedtime stories out of his mom and grandma. Annie's grandma, on the other hand, is quirky. I like quirky characters. She seems to have a direct line to a mystical being called the great Scorpio, who sometimes sends her eerily accurate premonitions but is at the same time absolutely worthless for the lottery. She also wears a lampshade occasionally.
Next, I like the quick mystery, called cozy on the cover. I think it's an accurate description of the style of this book. It's quick, not too deep or horrifying (though the subject of this particular mystery wasn't too pretty), and reasonably satisfying. I was happy with how the story turned out for Annie and Dana.
Now for what I didn't like. First, the choice of verb tense usage was distracting and not what I expected. It's a mix of present tense for things like side info and other "states of being" parts of the story and past tense for things that are happening in the story. The usage seems to be intentional rather than an error. I'm just not used to it. I noticed a couple of other minor things like the occasional missing word or wandering quotation punctuation. I tend to look for such things, so they were obvious to me.
As for some of the details surrounding the mystery, I had to press my "I believe" button a few times. One of these was the apparent speed with which a DNA match was produced, another was the clarity of a cell phone photo. For the first, I simply assumed the police were trying to spook the subject. For the second, well, I'm a bit behind in the phone tech, so perhaps it's possible, just not with the phone I'm using.
Overall, I thought the story was cute, reasonably interesting and good for a light read. I'd recommend it to folks who like these qualities in a book and don't mind if all the twigs don't quite add up to a bunch.
I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest, non-reciprocal review.
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