An Allie Armington Mystery by Louise Gaylord
Review: Xs is the somewhat disappointing second book in the Allie Armington mystery series by Louise Gaylord.
Though the overall book is quite readable, there are some aspects to the story that make it seem it was rushed into publication in mid-rewrite. There are entire plot elements that are begun then left incomplete or unresolved. Foremost among them is the title: What is the mystery behind the Xs? A related query might be: Why is the book titled Xs? Sometimes publishers change the title of a book to generate more interest, or possibly in this case, to create a visually evocative cover. But the more important question is: What was the point of including the Xs subplot if it had, at best, a marginal impact on the story?
A similar problem exists with the masked secret society. Although it's been done before, if incorporated effectively, or if it had an unusual twist, it could have added a mysterious aspect to the story. Instead, it seems as if it was used as a prop, and a weak one at that. And again the question: What was the point of its existence in the story?
It's possible that Gaylord was simply trying too hard to confuse the reader with red herrings, swapped identities, false names, and uncertain relationships. She should have had more faith in her abilities as an author that she didn't need all the extraneous material she included to create an effective mystery.
Acknowledgment: Author Marketing Experts provided a copy of Xs for this review.
Review Copyright © 2005 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Xs: New York City
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Xs by Louise Gaylord — An Allie Armington Mystery
Publisher: Little Moose Press
Publication Date: January 2005
List Price: $23.95