Monday, September 2, 2019

And Hope to Die: Mini-Review

And Hope to Die (1947) by Richard Powell

When his wife Arabella (Arab for short) talks him into a vacation in Florida, all Andy Blake wants to do is loll in sun, drink Planter's Punch, and avoid fishing like the plague. He certainly doesn't want to be the target for a barbed fish spear, bashed over the head, and nearly drowned and fed to the sharks. He's not much interested in lonely houseboats and little girls who are tied up there. He certainly doesn't want to interfere with tough guys who are smuggling people in and out of Cuba. But Arab has a way of nosing out trouble...and landing Andy smack dab in the middle of it. Of course, it is nice to figure out who the little girl is and help her find her dad. But if only he didn't have to deal with so much unpleasantness to get there. 

Honest-to-goodness, this sounded like it would be a fun romp. I'd heard somewhere that Andy and Arab were better than the Abbots (series by Frances Crane), so I looked forward to reading it. The mystery is convoluted. Things move along in a jerky kind of way. And it just doesn't grab me at all. This is supposed to be a funny, bantering couple mystery novel. But Andy and Arab just make me tired. There is too much banter. Andy is too reluctant. Arab is too eager. They spend too much time being fake jealous over the other's supposed interest in various members of the opposite sex sprinkled throughout the story. And seriously, these two couldn't solve their way out of a wet paper bag {Does that metaphor even work? I don't care....}--except when it comes to little girls. If you've read Nick and Nora, the Norths, the Troys, and even the Abbots and are looking for another husband and wife sleuthing team....keep looking. At least, that's my feeling on this one. I've got another Powell book sitting on the shelf. Maybe it will be better. 

5 comments:

Kate said...

Wow a one star book! Don't see that very often. Also loving the metaphor, think there's a few sleuths who would fall under that category, such as Miss Pym!

Bev Hankins said...

Kate: There are lots of people on Goodreads who disagree with my one-star rating, so your mileage might vary. I'll be interested to see if I like them any better once I get round to the other book I have on my shelf.

Kate said...

Is this an abridged version? I wondered if that might have affected how the characters comes across.

Bev Hankins said...

It is abridged--but I've read several of these digest-style abridged versions (mostly of authors I already knew) and haven't found them to have damaged the stories. I'm not convinced that a full helping of Arab and Andy would be any better.

Bev Hankins said...

The next one on the TBR pile is full-length. We'll see what I think when I read that.