Buried Deep in Books

洋書と英語についてつれづれと語るブログです。超個人的な感想文載せてます。

Strawberry & Creme Murder 読了

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さんが話しているのを目にして興味を惹かれ読み始めたこちら、1日で読み終えました。 

Strawberries & Crème Murder: A Donut Hole Cozy Mystery Book 1 (Second Edition) (English Edition)

Strawberries & Crème Murder: A Donut Hole Cozy Mystery Book 1 (Second Edition) (English Edition)

 

1日、というと「はやっ!」と思われそうですが、こちら152ページしか無いですし物語も単純、で展開も速い。伏線もうまいこと引いてあったり登場人物が魅力的だったりするのでサクサク読めました。「さく読め(さくっと読める)」に認定したいと思います!w

さて、あらすじなんですが上記リンクの説明文を読んでいただくとして(手抜き)、感じたことについてサラサラ~っと述べていきたいと思います。

まず一点目は「主人公のHeatherがいい味を出している」ということです。
Cozy-mysteryは近年結構読むようになりましたが、実は私結構キャラに対する好き嫌いが激しく、「こいつ嫌い」と思ったらもうその先読む気がしなくなるか、そのキャラが憎まれタイプだったりすると「この先どうなるかとくと見届けてやろうじゃないの」と顛末を見たさだけに読み進めるタイプです。大体主人公は女性で大概がカフェのオーナー。んでもって大概の場合、自分の店のライバルが殺されるかなんかで容疑者になってしまい、汚名を晴らすために捜査に乗り出す。。。そんな感じなんですが、ここでこの主人公が「警察は無能で任せてらんない、私が解決しないと!」と意固地がすぎるキャラだったりすると俄然そこで読む気が失せます。

しかしながら、今作のHeatherにはそんな部分がなく、まぁコージィのお決まりで独自捜査をはじめる動機付けは弱いものの、その後親友のAmy(彼女もいい味を出している)の投入やShepherd(Detective)との協力関係が築かれていくさまなど、なかなか小気味よく展開していきます。先程も書いたように容疑者や伏線を散りばめたりするのもうまい。ライティングも編集上のミス(スペルミスとか)あったりするんですが、英語自体は結構キビキビ歯切れがいいのでそんなに気にならなく読めちゃいます。全体的な印象としては「これ好きかも!」でした。

が、気に入らなかったのはラストです。犯人明かしは結構うまいかも、と思ったのですがちょっと拍子抜けというか、もうちょい何か欲しかったかなーとか、あとは事件が解決したあとの締めくくりが結構ずさんw
事件後Heatherがどのように普通の生活に戻っていってその後ビジネスはどうなったのか、という点について、なななんと

エピローグの冒頭1段落に簡単にまとめてありましたwww

ちょっとまって、そこ大事じゃない?w ちゃんと締めくくろうよー、とちょっとテンション下がりました。
その代わり次作での被害者になるであろうと思われるキャラクターに関し延々書いてあります。いやいやいや、それcliff hanger みたいな感じでそれこそ最後の数行でええんやないw

そんな感じで不満が残るエピローグでした。

が、プロローグは上手いと思いましたよ!どうやらシリーズ中の各作品のプロローグで被害者(もしくはサブ?)になるキャラクターの説明や背景が語られるのですが、本作ではプロローグを読んだ私は「え、こんな嫌な女が主人公なの?Cozyにしては珍しくない?」と思ってしまいました。ここで興味を惹かれ読みすすめていったのは確かです。

これ以上は語りませんが、興味のある方は数時間で読み終えられると思いますのでぜひお手に取って見てください!ちなみに私は2作目に突入し、今日中に読み終わるかな~?って感じです。コージィがお好きな方なら気に入るかも?
ちなみに日尼ならUnlimitedで全シリーズ読めるみたいなので、私もそうしようかな~。★3つ! 

 

↓以下はお決まりの英語による感想文です。簡単に書こうと思っていたのに案の定書きたいことを書いていたら長くなったので、覚悟の上(∩´。•ω•)⊃ドゾー

Quick, breezy, and delightful cozy mystery. I picked this one up in the morning and finished reading in the evening. It reads fast, the plot is much more solid than I had initially imagined – I am satisfied overall.

Although there are some editing errors, one of which totally alters the entire context and the meaning of the sentence – I basically flew through this one pretty fast. As I mentioned earlier, the pacing is brisk and the writing is crisp, if you are a fast-reader (unlike me), you can gobble this down within an hour, I bet!

I tend to be drawn toward cozy-mysteries because of the fluffiness and lightness especially when I am mentally stressed out and not in the mood for any heavy, serious stuff, but cozy-mysteries can be a hit or miss; I might be a very particular about the way a main character who is an amateur sleuth is portrayed. Some protagonists do get up my nose because of their obstinacy, refusing to let the law enforcement do investigations under misassumptions that they are incompetent or untrustworthy, this Heather person is indeed feisty – I give you that – but somewhat likable and relatable. She is mature, which is the quality I assume comes from being a business owner, and has gumption. She is also adept at teasing out clues from others and such qualities of hers actually lead the investigation coming to a head. I totally enjoyed that aspect.

In addition, I love Amy’s character arc and it adds a lot of flavor to the book. Their friendship is built on trust and they are real BFFs. They make a hilarious but a perfect team! The dialogues between those two flow really naturally, making me feel like I was eavesdropping their conversations and putting a smile on my face. I really love the dynamics between them.

That said though, all this praising doesn’t necessary mean I didn’t have any issues with this book. The editing errors which I mentioned earlier didn’t bother me that much, but for some reason, there were times when the third-person narration didn’t sit well with me. I don’t know exactly what the problem was and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I had a bit of weird feelings about the third person writing style in this book. Then again, it could have been only me though.

Another niggle about this book is the ending. Like I said, the pacing is solid and brisk. It is fun following how Heather proceeds with her investigation (I especially liked how great Heather is at switching gears and looking into things from a different angle), and how Shepherd and Heather build a bit of rapport as the story goes, but that was all the more reason why I was a bit disappointed with the ending. It felt a bit anticlimactic and the wrap-up of the investigation arrived a bit too early. Nevertheless, given how slim this book is, this might be a point where I need to turn a blind eye to, being a bit lenient.

Lastly, the episode; personally speaking, I think this is what ruined the book for me. Rather than summarizing how Heather’s life has gone back to normal in a few sentences, I would have loved to have it described. In writing. Not in a form of summary. That would have given the reader a more decent closure in my humble opinion but alas, the author spent so many pages for a sneak-peek into the sequel, which I presume it could have been done in a couple of sentences as a form of cliff hanger. I actually found the episode rather boring and lengthy. I couldn’t even keep my attention till the end which is pretty sad given how much I enjoyed this book overall.

Now, I’d like to wrap up my review on a positive note by mentioning what I was actually impressed; the Prologue. I believe I am not the only one, but I wrongly assumed the character appears in Prologue would be the heroine of this book. This person sits on the total opposite end of everything I said about Heather; she is pretty manipulative, conniving, and disingenuous. She would be a character whose guts you would hate and wish to see them go the way of downfall…
Things that are told in this Prologue come together and make sense in the latter part of the book, that was another point I was impressed with. That was smart.


There you have it; these are my thoughts and opinions on this cozy mystery, and I’ll say this: despite every negative thing I’ve said, I enjoyed this book on the whole. I am not above reading the sequel and I actually bought three books in the series so far!

This will make a perfect read when you want to take a break, taking your mind off from things that bother you. If you like cozy-mysteries, you might enjoy this one.