Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Book 6 of 2014: Murder Passes the Buck by Deb Baker

My last three book reviews were all books I had to read for my course and so after spending over a fortnight reading nothing but children’s books I needed something more mature to kind of give me a break while I set to work on my next assignment. I found the best way to do this was to go onto Amazon and download all the Kindle freebies that were clearly not intended for children. I downloaded gory thrillers, smutty romances, scary fantasies and anything else that suggested it was written for audiences over the age of eighteen.

In the end, the book I chose to read, after having downloaded hundreds of *ahem* mature books, was a lot gentler than most of what I’d picked up. The book in question was Murder Passes The Buck by Deb Baker. It’s the story of an older woman, Gertie Johnson, living in backwoods America, who has lost her husband and is trying to move on when a neighbour is shot by what is apparently a stray hunting bullet. With the help of two of her friends, and the hindrance of her son who is the local sheriff and thinks his mother is going senile, she determines that this death was almost certainly a murder and sets out trying to prove it was so.

It was a very funny book. I kept on finding myself highlighting chunks of text because there were loads of funny one-liners. It made a nice change after the set texts that I’d been reading, most of which, especially the last one, were quite serious. The book was fairly short, the equivalent of 272 pages but I imagine in printed form it must have some fairly wide line spaces, so I read it in just over a day but it was a nice enjoyable read.

I didn’t find the character of Gertie particularly likeable. She seemed determined to do things her own way regardless of the impact on herself or anyone else. She was a bit of a batty old lady, but intentionally so, so I could kind of forgive her for it. It’s her crazy old lady personality that gives the book a lot of its humour, like in the bit where she says:

I tried to stay as far to the right side of the road as I could so the nuts had a lot of passing room. Sixty-five miles an hour seemed unreasonably fast to me so I tried to keep it around forty. You could enjoy the scenery that way. Page 119

Most of the book has Gertie surviving by sheer luck, particularly during the big reveal when she uncovers exactly what has happened.

Although I wouldn’t say that this was a brilliant book, I think I’ll keep an eye out for more books featuring Gertie purely because it was such a quick and entertaining read.

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