Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown

Fair Haristeen, doctor of veterinary medicine, and his wife, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, loved to steal a Saturday and cruise the back roads of central Virginia.

This sentence introduces character and place, but no conflict or unusual situation, you know, the things that stories are made of. There's also a glimpse of tone and narrative voice. Some might say that is enough for a first sentence, and especially as this is part of a series, but that is assuming the reader is already hooked on the series. However, having read nothing from this series and knowing nothing about it, I can only shrug and say, "Okay, so?"

What follows is a bit of back story about how this couple used to hang out in high school. Nothing intense or unusual.

First thing said:

"Perfect weather."

Uh-oh. Once a character mentions the weather, the writer can't resist and the flood gates open, and we get a weather report.

The weird thing about this book is that a cat gets a byline (thereby really rubbing it in for all unpublished authors struggling out there: Ha-ha, you can't get published, but a cat can!), which elevates the "crazy cat woman" syndrome to a whole new extreme. But it's all in good fun, and there is a temptation to give this a pass, as I don't want to discourage cats from writing books.

Verdict: Fail

Theodore Moracht

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