Monday, March 12, 2012
The Doctor Dines in Prague: Review
The Doctor Dines in Prague is the fourth in a series of cozy mysteries by Robin Hathaway. They star Dr. Andrew Fenimore, a Philadelphia physician who still makes house calls. In this outing, Fenimore becomes concerned about his Czech cousin and her family. He has been in the habit of calling Anna every week to check on her and her husband, Vlasta. Vlasta suffers from angina and Fenimore had been making plans to bring the family to Philadelphia so Vlasta could have some much-needed surgery at a top-notch facility.
But now, it has been two weeks without any contact with Anna or her husband. Fenimore immediately drops everything, tries to knock the rust off of his knowledge of Czech, and rushes to Prague. There, he finds his cousin's apartment empty....except for the sneeze in the stove. Anna's daughter Marie has been hiding ever since two men with guns kidnapped her parents. He bundles Marie off to the States--to be cared for by his nurse/receptionist and soon he has his lover and a teenaged helper tangled in his efforts to track down his cousins. He finds himself vamped by a blonde femme fatale and up against a psychopath who thinks that stealing the crown jewels will allow him to overthrow the government and become ruler of the country. And it all ends with an unexpected swim in the river and....murder.
I picked this one up primarily because it suited two of my challenges (among others)...Cruisin' Through the Cozies and the European Reading Challenge. It's okay. And supposing that one could suspend one's disbelief enough...possibly quite enjoyable. I just found it difficult to believe that the Doctor could buzz off to Prague and have all the adventures that he did with as little of the language as he had. And that he could be that naive. I also found it hard to believe that just about everybody he knew could hop on a plane for Prague at the drop of a hat. Oh, and the main motive for the whole she-bang? Just a teensy-bit hard to swallow as well. The Doctor is a likeable enough fellow...maybe I would appreciate him more on his home ground. But I don't think I'll go out of my way to find out. Decent...but not outstanding. Two and a half stars.
*And just as a side-note: it's amazing how many books I can read when I'm not staring at my laptop all evening.....