A Cry For Self Help
Review: Despite a cast of extraordinary characters, Jaqueline Girdner's eighth mystery to feature Jest Gifts owner Kate Jasper, A Cry For Self-Help, is exceptionally dreary.
A Cry For Self-Help starts with a prologue that, in tone and substance, seems written for a different book entirely. As to the plot, it is incomprehensible that the murder of Sam Skyler (which occurs in the first chapter) could have taken place unwitnessed given the large number of people milling about and the venue. Even taking a leap of faith (pun intended) on credibility, the author doesn't adequately explain in the end how the murderer accomplished it sight unseen.
No one speaks in a normal voice in this book. They scream. They yell. They shriek. Scarcely a page or two goes by without someone speaking loudly to someone else. And on the most inane subjects. Couple this with the frantic pace of the characters and, well, it's all quite exhausting.
A Cry For Self-Help isn't a badly written mystery. It's simply a poor excuse for one.
Review Copyright © 1997 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in A Cry For Self Help: California
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A Cry For Self Help by Jaqueline Girdner — A Kate Jasper Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Publication Date: April 1997
List Price: $21.95