Biwen Xiong Xiong itibaren Saint-Augustin, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC G3A, Kanada
I've read all this series, and I did enjoy them. The books are charming, as are the characters. The good news is the pleasant setting (Bath, Maine), well described. The characters are fun for the most part, and you find yourself caring about them and what happens to them. As the series went on, the murder mystery part got better, and believable. I found myself agreeing with the opinions of Jesse, and I especially liked the choice of older guys as heroes. He's good at describing his retired schoolteacher/employer girlfriend. Now for the not so good. Jesse Ashworth is supposed to be a retired English teacher. Alas, the books are full of the kind of error that no English teacher would overlook: "lead" for "led", misplaced apostrophes, far too many exclamation points. Here's one example: "'We'll be the oldest one's on the cruise.' Today she was dressed in only what I could describe as a Miss Marple outfit. There's one old bitty that I wouldn't want to be on a cruise with. The Marple woman turned up more dead bodies than a graveyard after an earthquake!" Surely the author should know that he meant "biddy" and that the apostrophe is wrong. And the exclamation point is like a very bad dig in the ribs. More substantively, there are lots and lots of repetitions in the books--I love the dog, but don't want to know every time he's let out to do his business or be taken for a walk, or be told constantly that he's waiting for food to drop. Or every time Jesse walks or drives to work. Or every time he makes muffins. It all begins to look like filler after a while. All the church-goers and extended family are rather too good to be true. What's neglected is the relationship between Jesse and Tim. We have no idea what they look like (except that Tim is 6'4" and gorgeous, and Jesse is 6'1" and probably good-looking). I'm fine with the fact that their bedroom scenes are not described, but, really, there's no explanation of why they're in love (or are they?), very little tenderness between them. So that's sketchy at best. Still, if you don't want lots of stress, suspense, and danger, you will be charmed by the series.
** spoiler alert ** The book started out with an interesting premise, but the plot was just so convoluted that I had a hard time getting into the story and caring about the characters. Sonny and friends kept insisting that it was dangerous for Kelley to have a kelpie in her bathtub, but didn't try to remedy that problem right away. Kelley's reactions to learning about her origins were stilted and not realistic. And why didn't Sonny try to find Emma right away when he learned that she was his mother?