—As private detective Maggie Gale works to prove the innocence of a mentally challenged pinball wizard who has been arrested for murder, she’s called to Irwin College to discuss the suspicious suicide of a gay professor. There, Maggie shakes hands with the attractive Dr. Kathryn Anthony, who smiles at her with a faint but unmistakable touch of lust. Maggie’s humorous and caring friends and family support her as she works against escalating danger, and toward escalating romantic encounters with Kathryn. — Angel Food and Devil Dogs is the “A” book in the alphabetical Maggie Gale Mystery Series.
[Originally posted on Amazon 5/23/09]
I only rated this book 3 stars, but I don’t want that to be misleading. Angel Food and Devil Dogs was a very enjoyable read and Liz Bradbury shows a lot of promise as a fiction author. I’d have no hesitation about buying another one of her books.
I liked the primary and many of the secondary characters. I liked the mystery plot. I liked the romance. The overall writing was decent.
There were two main issues with the book. The first is the big one and at times it had me pulling my hair out in frustration. In a detective novel the obvious goal of the detective is to cleverly gather clues and information as she investigates. But Maggie doesn’t seem to mind letting all sorts of obvious questions go unanswered, over and over again. In almost every single interview during her investigation the interviewee made comments that were just begging for follow-up questions. But Maggie never asked them! She’d just go on to something else or indicate they were done, leaving me flabbergasted at what she hadn’t asked.
The other main issue is technical. There were lots of places throughout where words were dropped from sentences. It was always obvious from context what they were, but these kinds of mistakes should be caught. Also, Bradbury seems to be having a passionate love affair with commas. I can understand this because I suffer from the same affliction. But someone needs to get her to just step away from the comma key. ;)
Unless you’re a punctuation obsessive or feel that interviews with suspects are the only critical part of a mystery novel I can in good faith recommend Angel Food and Devil Dogs to those who enjoy both mysteries and romances. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next one.
Kindle specific note: The Kindle edition is formatted pretty well. I only noticed a couple small errors. Though there really needs to be a couple spaces between the chapter headings and the first paragraph in the chapter.