Friday, October 22, 2010
The Woman in the Woods
The Woman in the Woods by (Charity) Lee Blackstock is another one of those inverted mysteries. I've said before that I'm not a big fan of this kind of mystery. I enjoy pitting my wits against those of the detective in the story to see if I can figure out who did it. I'm not so much into sitting on the edge of my chair and waiting to see if the killer (who I know already) is going to get caught. This one does have an advantage over The Chocolate Cobweb, though. The characters talk sensibly and the story line is a good one.
This story revolves around a skeleton discovered by two schoolboys who have been playing truant. When it becomes apparent who the victim was, the next question is why would anyone want to kill her? She seemed like such a nice woman...friendly with everyone. Of course, the reader already knows who did it. The clues to her identity and to that of her killer are glowing neon signs...except to the people in the book.
Over all, Blackstock tells a good tale. It's a decent story and I found most of the characters to be engaging and believable. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if she had told it as a straight mystery story, though. I wonder if she had removed the telling paragraphs where the killer was revealed in the beginning chapters if I would have spotted him/her? Three stars out of five.