Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Writer and The Sleuth

There are two things about mysteries that impress me – the writer and the sleuth. Let me talk about the sleuth first. The sleuth is not just a standard Sherlock Holmes. Don’t get me wrong – I like Sherlock Holmes. He was one of the first sleuths I started reading. Sleuths come from different walks in life. You have your cop turned PI. Then you have your detective. You have the ex-lawyer who runs a herb store and gets involved in mysteries. You have your college professor drawn into mysteries. You have your small town sheriff investigating murders and other mysteries. You also have the game warden who gets involved in mysteries. Even a writer might be a sleuth. There seems to be no limitations to job backgrounds a sleuth might have.

The sleuth in Pushing Up Bluebonnets is Abby Rose. This is the fifth book in the Yellow Rose Mystery series written by Leann Sweeney. Abby Rose started off as a rich heiress involved with running a computer company. A death at her home and connected search for her biological background got her started in the business – becoming an investigator. She is brought into this mystery when a young lady is involved in an accident and has Abby’s business card. It becomes apparent this “accident” was helped along by somebody else who wants the young lady dead. Even the young lady is a mystery – who is she? She seems to be the missing but found granddaughter of a prominent man in a small town family – but things do not add up.

We have learned thru the series how stubborn and determined Abby can be when it comes to getting answers. When somebody meets her one of the things they mention is what they have heard about her and how impressive she is. Well.., in this book, we come to realize (as other characters in this book do as well) that Abby can be vulnerable. While she may appear to be a “superwoman” she has her weaknesses as well.

In spite of the web drawn in this book, she comes to discover who tried to kill the young lady. She finds out about the young lady’s past. And she discovers who in the prominent family knew about the young lady’s past – to a certain extent. One mystery remains at the end of the book. Will the “mob” still try to eliminate the young lady to get back at her previous family or will she be “protected” by her new family? Maybe not!!

I mentioned a writer could be a sleuth. I should not be surprised because the writer of the mystery has to be sleuth of sorts to develop the mystery. At the same time, the writer can come from different walks in life as well. They can be lawyers, doctors, professors, any number of law enforcement fields, or unrelated fields. This is just another way the writer and the sleuths are alike. It does not matter what the background is – the mystery writer can write a mystery and a character can be a sleuth.

Finally, I enjoy the mystery when it is not just about the sleuth. There is a story involving other characters as well. Case in point. The story about the original officer who found the abandoned girl and tried to help her out. She was unable to at the time. Now she is no longer a cop due in some part to an illness she has - MS. Now she is able to pass on information useful in solving the mystery. The author gave a very impressive description of the meeting with Abby, her, and her dog. At the end there is another meeting with Abby, the ex-cop, her dog, and the grown young lady who the ex-cop tried to help as a little girl.

Good job!!!

1 comment:

Leann Sweeney said...

Wow! THANK YOU. I have been attending to the recent discussion on Dorothy L about cozies and have always believed that "cozies" are more real than any serial killer book out there. But I am never going to convince the naysayers. But in your great synopsis, you have reminded me why I choose my subject matter: because it is relevant to the world we live in. I was blown away when I discovered just how many missing people there are in this country while researching Bluebonnets. 6000 alone in Houston in 2005. 100,00 nationwide. So, your kind analysis tells me that there are folks out there who "get it," that the themes I pick aren't just fluff! (even though it may feel like it).
Take care,