Dead Heading: A Sloan and Crosby Mystery (Detective Chief Inspector C.D. Sloan)

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All the orchids in two greenhouses have been “killed.” Someone purposely opened their doors at night, exposing them to a deadly frost. A retired secretary, who supposedly left on a trip, hasn’t arrived at her destination. It is up to Detective Inspector Sloan and his partner, Detective Constable Crosby, to connect these dots before more than plants die.

These should be good ingredients for a cozy mystery, but several factors kept bumping me out of it. There were an excessive use of adverbs. On one page, characters said or did things crisply, curiously, stiffly, lightly, and robustly; on the next page, implacably, mulishly, grimly, weakly, and tartly. And so it went, throughout the whole book. Also, characters repeatedly said things under their breath. These “asides” may have been meant to show personality or provide comic relief, but the effect on this reader was distraction. Likewise, Constable Crosby’s chanting of adages and nursery rhymes seemed out of place.

Inspector Sloan, Superintendent Leeyes, and others, continually quoted famous authors to each other, often obscurely, so that the listener (and reader) had to puzzle out the quotation’s relevance to the conversation at hand. The plot was good, but the writing would have benefited from more careful editing.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Minotaur Books
Publish Date 2014-Jun-17
ISBN 9781250041135 Buy this Book
Issue July 2014
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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