Sunday, September 5, 2010

Holly Blues, by Susan Wittig Albert

One of the adages popular with writing teachers is "show, don't tell." Mystery writers are especially prone to telling, especially when it comes to the denouement--the various plot twists have to be untangled somehow and the easiest way is to have someone explain everything. Unfortunately, the latest title in Susan Wittig Albert's China Bayles series is all about telling. The actual "real-time" story occurs over only a few days and none of the crimes dealt with actually occur in Pecan Springs. Instead, China and her investigator husband Mike McQuaid (who gets a few chapters of his own) find themselves looking at one ten-year-old crime and two others that occurred in other towns. How do they find out about these crimes? Mike goes into a diner and happens upon a cop, who tells him all about one of the crimes, while China gathers stories at a quilt shop near where one of the murders occurred. Talk, talk, talk, tell, tell, tell. Not much of a mystery this time around.

Favorite passage: None

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