Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Manuscript for Murder


:My random thoughts:
 
How would you react if each time you wrote a murder, it was recreated in real life?
I was pulled in immediately by Mrs. Havig's newest novel. First off, because of the main character, Alexa Hartfield. As soon as we 'met' on the electronic pages on my kindle reader, I knew, as Anne Shirley would put it, I had found a kindred soul. Or a member of the race of Joseph.  And second, the simply chilling storyline that follows like a charming little sister to the famed Agatha Christie.  Of course, Joe made for a darling addition, and the fact that Mrs. Havig's writing can't help but be sweet and hilarious also helped.


:Publisher's Description:
Alexa Hartfield. Author, local celebrity, fashion connoisseur. She chose Fairbury for its close proximity to Rockland, its small town atmosphere, and its low crime rate.

Then someone made her life a literary clich√©. A mysterious accident with a light bulb sparked an interesting idea for her latest novel—and for Fairbury’s new serial killer. The first replication infuriated her. The second left an even worse taste in her mouth. The third blasted more than her self-confidence, and the fourth beat her down so far she’s considering giving up writing completely.

Who is killing Fairbury’s citizens, and furthermore, why and how are they using her novels to do it?


:info to know:
Author: Chautona Havig
My recommended age: 13+
Their recommended age: NA
Publisher: Create Space
Number of Pages: 288

Characters:
As said, I hit it right off with Alexa the moment she mentioned wearing a retro outfit. I'm a huge fan of vinatage and retro garb, and to find a lady that boldly wears what she likes without a regard of whether it is in fashion or not, and her inspiring life motto to not wait around for your favorite Era's fashion to come back into style before you wear it.  The moment I read Alexa declare that, my heart did jumping jack's and cried happy tears while whispering, "Oh yes!". 
And Joe. I fell right in love with him, hook and line, and, oh yeah, sinker too. In fact, I think I might've ditched for my Prince on a white Steed, can I have a cute small town Police Offer with darling curls and a winning personality? ?

 
Plot:
So many words to describe it, so few space. I'll just say, it had me quite caught up, and I simply couldn't put it down.  I have been humming old songs, and right now, I'll listening to Ella Fitzgerald's 'I Love Paris' because it just fits the book, and the reviewing of it. A whimsical murder, if that's even possible. It kept you thinking, and in the end, in true Agatha Christie fashion, you had to laugh at yourself because you never saw that coming. 

Writing Style:
As said it once, twice, and I say it thrice, I love Chautona Havig's writing style. I love everything about it, how she slips meaningful tidbits down, and douses you with humor.  But, there was a slight difference in 'Manuscript For Murder'. I don't even know how to say it without sounding vile or unprincipled, but it was much more, charming. Albeit a murder mystery, I was lured by the delightful charm of everything except the deaths. It was whimsical, and beautiful, while still holding that feel every mystery book should have.

And, to note, I did notice a few typos and repeated sentences, but I think Mrs. Havig noticed those as well due to a post she made on her Facebook.
 
Ending: 
Please tell me there will be more to the Hartfield Mysteries. I could not bear should this be the end of our company with the Lady of Written Murder (Alexa) and The Knight in Police Man armor (Joe).  So many loose strings were left untied. Like...ya know...a big knot that Alexa and Joe need to tie....
 
World Building: 
Fairbury to Rockwell, Chautona Havig has made a home for us in her novels. Each time I pick up her novels, I feel like dropping my luggage, signing into a sweet inn, perhaps Aunt Charity's boarding house, having a cup of tea or coffee with whoever will have me, and just staying for awhile.

  Language: 
It's mentioned that Joe curses from time to time, but its never said what he says, so its clean and clear.
 
Drugs and Drink:  
Does an account of poisoning count? That was badly phrased....
 
Romance and sexual content:  
There was a sweet love triangle between Joe and Alexa, to Alexa and Darrin.  (I'm a stout Joe/Alexa shipper...Don't you dare make any more moves, Darrin).  And then, gah, I don't want to give anything away...there was an event in Alexa's past life (AKA: Teenage years) that didn't end up how she planned, and it resulted in...another life. 
 
Violence: 
......It's a murder mystery. If you have problems with that (Ya know...if you are like SOME people who are in this novel...) it's best to just stay away.
 
 
Ratings
I cannot rate it anything less then a five star while still having a guilt free conscience.
It was charming, mystericle (I just made that word up. It's copyrighted now. yup yup), and it possessed the same charm that graces past eras. Alexa added a delightful touch, and I think any other character would have greatly changed the way the novel felt.  

I extend a great sound of thanks to Mrs. Havig for letting me review her supercalfragilisticexpialidocious novel. 

1 Reader views:

Jack said...

Lovely cover! So many books to read, and not enough time. Very sad.

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