Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Bookfair Murders by Anna Porter

Aside from the murder, it was a predictable Bertelsmann party.

This sentence offers up a murder and a party. As a fan of crime fiction, I'm pleased the word "murder" is mentioned early and in the first sentence. Murder mysteries should begin with the crime and the puzzle - preferably in the opening line. However, this sentence also mentions a party, so the rest of the paragraph could go either way: describe the party rather than the murder.

Unfortunately, this opening chooses to go the way of the party, the setting, the exposition and not with the murder, the conflict. Instead of describing the murder scene, the victim etc, the author chooses to stall and go into great detail describing the party, right down to the background music and the people attending the party. A little boring - my attention wanders, which means that what is described is probably important and holds all the clues to the crime, and because readers aren't paying attention will miss everything and fail to solve the crime and be surprised at the end.

Then Margaret Atwood is mentioned as attending the party. Could she be a suspect or even the victim?

First thing said:

"This is my sixteenth Bertelsmann party."

Verdict: Fail

Theodore Moracht

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