Looking for something not too exciting or too fast? Want a mild distraction, not something that will leave you wanting more? You only want this weekend at most. You don’t want any risk of any strings being attached. You aren’t looking for something serious or intense. Then we have the perfect fix for your nothing special weekend.
Let’s start at the very beginning, Murder at an Exhibition. This certainly could be better. The word choice of “an Exhibition” seems to automatically downplay the book. It reduces the stature of the setting. It’s just an ordinary, run of the mill, nothing special about it exhibition. Instead of this is “the Exhibition” that can and does lead to murder, it is that special and dramatic. However, this title does not imbue your feelings with any hype up, which is probably a blessing in disguise.
This weird downplay of the book continues with giving readers the meat of the story before the story. How? By sharing the murder discovery excerpt the page before Chapter 1. However, this meaty morsel is not the beginning of a memorable adventure, but is more a spoiler of the plot highlight. Worse, this highlight is a long way in coming, thus the author is almost gaslighting the reader. Seriously, it took 25% of the book before the murder from the spoiler actually happens and the pre-Chapter 1 excerpt makes the reading of the event in the book anti-climatic.
Even without this spoiler the book is not an edge of your seat page turner. It was almost easier to put it down than to pick it back up. It is readable, but not captivating. The characters are likable, but not extraordinary. The plot is reliable and sound. It tells a sturdy and interesting story. Yet, there is also a lot of unnecessary extra story telling that makes it seem like you are reading part of a series instead of a stand alone.
This is a technically competent piece. It checks all the boxes for how to write a good book. Too bad those checks are all about structure without the meat and bones to fill out into something substantial. Instead, this is more of a day in the life of book than a true murder mystery. Don’t get me wrong, the mystery is intriguing and does keep you wondering or making your mind and changing your mind. But it is more that the mystery is the ingredient or path that connects the characters and their lives than being the spotlight of the book.
This book is a good option for having something to carry with you to read, when you have a few minutes, that you will not mind having to put down again and again as you get on with your day or weekend. And in this type of reading is probably where it will find its best fit. Can you curl up with it for your Friday night/weekend read? Certainly, but do not expect it to be your best book date ever by a long shot. It perfectly, reminds me of an Amber Sparks tweet I saw about an average guy…
I met this book…
** The book cover is via Amazon.com.
** The tweet screenshot is via Google Search Images.
DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC of this book. This is my honest review of the work.