Book Review – The Ghost of Marlow House by Bobbi Holmes

!!!WARNING!!! I’m usually pretty nice with my reviews. That’s not the case this time.

The Ghost of Marlow House (Haunting Danielle Book 1) by Bobbi Holmes

The plot was so predictable I guessed nearly everything right in the beginning. We’re talking as soon as something was mentioned, I knew it would be integral to the plot and mostly how it would all work out. The only surprise was at the end with the last plot point to wrap up. I can’t say it because I don’t want to spoil it for others. It wasn’t a “Oh wow! I didn’t see that coming!” kind of surprise. More like a “Seriously? They sure pulled some strings to make that work out.” Oh, wait. There was one more surprise at the end that elicited the same kind of response. Those two “surprises” wrap things up very nicely. There’s a lovely little bow and everything. One might say that I’m just good at predicting the outcome etc, but I’m really not. I’m the one at the end going “Holy Cow! I did NOT see that coming!!” while everyone else is like, “pfft whatever.” If everything in the book was obvious even to me, it was seriously obvious.

All the characters sounded alike and weren’t fleshed out properly. Conflicts arise only to be concluded with minor work. The point of view would change constantly! That was a huge deal for me. From one paragraph to the next, there was a chance the PoV would change. Hell, from one sentence to the next sometimes. For me that’s like a giant flashing red danger sign warning that there’s bad writing ahead. But I kept reading because the idea for the book was interesting. Unfortunately, the potential for good was never reached and I was left seriously disappointed.

Then there were the impromptu history and human rights lessons that sounded completely scripted. I thought I was reading about a mystery about a ghost haunting an old house that was being renovated into a B&B, but suddenly people were talking about black women’s rights in Oregon in the 1920s. Whenever they started talking about these sorts of things, the dialogue would get supremely flat and everyone (though they all sounded similar to begin with) sounded exactly alike. It was ridiculous.

Add to all of that the extemporaneous details such as Dani’s friend ordering a martini and you’ve completely lost me. Boring! One may argue that it shows her personality and character. I would argue that it was superfluous and showed nothing of her real character. So much of the dialogue was pure filler. Writing a few times that the waitress silently takes away dishes from your table doesn’t further the story, it adds extra words to sift through in order to get through the story. Unless, of course, the waitress is trying to eavesdrop in order to discover some juicy tidbits on some diamond or whatever that she can steal from you when your guards is down…which isn’t the case.

I paid $0.99 for this and am regretting spending even that much. There are so many other mystery ghost books out there. Just off the top of my head, I’d recommend Rose Pressey. Her books can be fun. I don’t recommend bothering with this one. I for one am not going to be looking into her other books.

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Never too busy for Agatha Christie

Lately my writing has been taken over by my reading. I have only so much time in my day and it’s broken up into very tidy sections:

  • Writing
  • Family
  • Work/Study
  • Fitness

Lately though my normal schedule has been thrown completely out of alignment due mainly to the fitness part of my life. The rest of my life has gotten a little wonky as well but it’s really the fitness part that’s the cause of the major changes. I had my class – Foundations of Group Fitness Instructor – on Saturday (yesterday) but was behind in studying the book to be ready for the class so for the past week and a half I’ve been using all my writing time studying. I passed the class. Yay! But am now so very behind in my writing and I will remain behind for a little while longer because I now have to practice a demo class to prove that I’m ready to teach. Then things will calm down and return to normal…I hope.

Until then, rather than write at night, I use the last of my free time to rest my aching head and read a book. Right now I’m into Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels. They’re not horribly long mysteries and each chapter is short so my imagination is constantly on the move. It’s nice. There’s no time to get bored. Right now I’m reading “Lord Edgeware Dies.” I accidentally flipped to the end and saw who the murderer was when I was looking to see how long the book was. Oops! I almost returned it to the library because I felt the book was ruined for me then because I already know who did it. But I kept reading and Agatha Christie has made the case so complicated and interesting that I find myself second-guessing the snippet I read and wonder if I really don’t know who the murderer is! Then I think, “Well, even if it turns out to be so-n-so, I have to keep reading to see how they did it!” I am so in the dark as to how it could’ve been done that I’m dying to find out.

Makes me laugh to write that. Agatha Christie was such an awesome writer. I’d be sorry she was dead except that she wrote almost 80 books so she left quite a legacy to enjoy! She lived a full, successful life and it sounds like it was an enjoyable one too. There should be no grief in her death in a case like this. I’m merely happy she was alive to begin with.