As a mystery writer I've enjoyed -- and I do mean enjoyed -- a string of incredibly positive reviews. Still, I approach each one with a bit of trepidation. Will the reviewer really "get" what I had in mind?
Interestingly, the reviewers sometimes get it better than I do -- and I learn from them what my characters were up to.
One of my first experiences of this was when The Well-Read Sherlockian reviewed The 1895 Murder. Near the end of the review, she wrote:
In real life, however, most crimes are not tragedies so much as they are tragic. In real life, horrible things happen to innocent people who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There’s no romantic affair, no stolen military plans, no secret pact over jewelry–only a random encounter with evil. It would be inaccurate for me to describe The 1895 Murder as ”dark”–Andriacco writes with a light, humor-filled touch and his books are firmly at the cozy end of the spectrum. But just as Holmes admonishes Watson that the bucolic landscapes flashing past the window of their train car can hide the most disturbing scenarios, so Cody’s latest adventure gently reminds us that justice is not as easily attained as we might want–and we must celebrate the good things in life and laugh at ourselves, regardless.
Now, that wasn't in my conscious mind when I wrote the book, but I recognize it as being nevertheless a message of the work.
Most recently, I was impressed by Jaime Mahony's insightful review of The Amateur Executioner on her Better Holmes and Gardens blog. In one paragraph of a long review, she wrote:
But the mystery at the heart of The Amateur Executioner is more than just a device meant to propel Enoch Hale from one familiar face to another. The machinations behind the series of murders (and their seemingly unrelated victims) are intricately and expertly plotted, and as complex as any of the one hundred and sixty separate ciphersin Holmes’s monograph. It is a mystery of hidden dimensions and international implications, but with a local flavor not unlike one of the Great Detective’s own cases. The novel stays satisfyingly grounded in the worldof Sherlock Holmes – even if the man himself is not a constant presence. Enoch Hale is as doggedly persistent as Sherlock Holmes is known to be, and when his managing director at the Central Press Syndicate (one Nigel Rathbone, recently arrived from South Africa) tells the journalist, “Get the story, Hale!” – there is almost certainly an echo of “Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot."I don't think my co-author and I knew that -- but we do now!
Thanks to every one who has ever take the time to review one of my books, whether on Amazon, Goodreads, or a blog.
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