my review of the ninth installment of this series, I probably wouldn't continue with the books if I couldn't find them in audio form (I'm always requiring a book to listen to while I walk on the treadmill each morning). Indeed, I was rather disgruntled with this tenth book, Carrot Cake Murder. So many of my complaints played out in this episode.
For starters, the reader is dragged along with the numerous love interests of the main character, a woman who has admitted to herself that she can't hold a candle to the raving beauty of either of her sisters. Yet, somehow three men are willing to dangle on a thread in hopes that she will cast her lot in their direction. Really? Moreover, ten books and Hannah still hasn't made up her mind? Come on.
The formula is simply growing tiresome. Thankfully, we didn't have to hear too much about the cat in this book. Hannah's detective boyfriend allows her to sleuth away, sharing evidence. Yet another Lake Eden citizen has cooked up murder over a trivial reason. Hannah, of course, finds the dead body and dishes up recipe after recipe throughout the process of determining the killer.
Another pet peeve I have with this series is the author's insistence upon teaching the reader tid-bits of information. Often it comes in the form of grammar lessons, Regency dialect information, or detective procedure. It's not that I don't enjoy learning something from what I read, but rather the grating tone the author uses while instructing on trivial bits of information. As another reader expressed in an Amazon review, why does the reader need to be informed what "slate blue" means?
Finally, I am weary of the main character's slow mental processes when it comes to technology. This is a woman who is supposedly smarter than the average detective, yet she stumbles through instructions on how to use a cell phone? Really? I'm not the brightest when it comes to these devices myself, but I find her cluelessness less than endearing.
So, why am I still listening? Good question. Is it that old conundrum of wanting to finish what I started? I do still enjoy hearing the recipes read off (and will probably attempt one or two of them someday). It is definitely easy listening because it is not hard to follow, even when my mind wanders during the walk. And finally, my library just doesn't have enough fairly clean audio books to keep me going (I have three on the back burner right now, but I'm wondering if I will be able to listen to them on weekends, when my boys are around). So, I plug on in this seemingly endless series where the formula never alters a bit: the main character drags several love interests along behind her while she stumbles upon countless dead bodies and outwits any other individuals attempting to solve the troublesome cases. Please tell me this author isn't as committed to her formula as R.L. Stine was (whose 62 book Goosebumps series is still read voraciously by young kids in schools across the country).