Friday, January 11, 2013

The Evil That Men Do: Review

The Evil That Men Do is the next installment of the Dorothy Martin mystery series by Jeanne M. Dams (I'm reading her most recent three to get caught up in the series and to fulfill a square on the Book Bingo challenge).  In this outing, Dorothy and her husband, Alan Nesbitt, are on a walking holiday in the Cotswalds.  They take a break from their tour to stay at a lovely little bed and breakfast in the beautiful little town of Broadway--making short day-trip walks from their "home base."  On one of their day trips, Alan spots the body of a man who has apparently fallen over the edge of an abandoned quarry.  Shortly after calling the authorities and making their way back to town, Dorothy is nearly run over by a distracted young man who has been staying at the same b&b.  Once explanations and apologies are made, the couple take an instant liking to him.  They are dismayed when the police reveal that the man in the quarry was pushed, the young man disappears, and suspicion immediately falls on their new friend.  Dorothy can't resist getting involved and soon she and Alan discover that there is far more to the story than anyone could imagine.  It all ends with an exciting rescue from an abandoned farm involving an intrepid taxi driver and a heroic spaniel.

While I still like the characters of Dorothy and her husband very much and Dams introduce some very likeable supporting characters, this mystery isn't quite up to the standard of her previous work.  Dorothy supposedly has the charm to get people to talk to her, but there is a great deal of time spent in which people do NOT talk to her and she learns very little.  There is also the difficulty in believing her involvement in the ending.  She's not the most athletic senior citizen in the world (and is still breaking in her newly-replaced knees) and yet she can perform the feats detailed in the the grand finale?  (Sorry to be so vague, but I don't want to give the ending away.)  I'm not buying.

The mystery itself isn't quite as satisfying, although Dams does set the clues fairly well--and like Dorothy I felt like I should have realized who the villain really was a lot sooner.  I think the story would have worked just as well (if not better) if we'd lost the rock musician story line.  Over all, a fair read with good characters.  Two and a half stars.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Not sure I'm sold on this one, though I do undertand the need to put all logic away in a fild drawer when reading a mystery. Maybe her knees where more like the implants they put into Jaime Sommers.