I've been short-staffed one librarian the last two days. In the middle of our summer reading program no less.
I am exhausted.
I manage a small city library. "Small" being the code word for "Not A Lot Of Staff." When one person is out sick, it makes life interesting - but we still manage. When two people are out sick, I'm screaming for reinforcements.
I did manage to keep my eyes open long enough though to finish Not A Girl Detective by Susan Kandel on my lunch break today.
OK, let me say upfront that I loved Kandel's debut, I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason. The heroine is an older single woman (older being 40ish here), who writes biographies of dead mystery writers for a living. Naturally murder and mayhem ensue.
Perry Mason was great because while the book is sort of a cozy, the subject matter of Erle Stanley Gardner gave it a crime noir edge. In Girl, the subject is Nancy Drew and Carolyn Keene. Hey, I grew up with Nancy - so I should love this book right?
Well the problem here was the writing. I just didn't find it as polished as the debut. Maybe the author had less time to work on this 2nd novel? Who knows. Also, I found the narrative a little herky-jerky (how's that for a technical term?). There wasn't a good flow between chapters so it gave the story a choppy feel. Also, while it was a bonus in Perry Mason, the heroine's romance with a local cop felt more like a distraction in Girl.
Will I read the next book? Probably. Although I'll likely put myself on the request list at work instead of buying my own copy....