Docketful of Poesy
A Poetic Death Mystery with Grace Hollister by Diana Killian
Review: Former school teacher and English poet scholar Grace Hollister returns to England as screenwriter where the filming of her own book is taking place in Docketful of Poesy, the fourth mystery in this series by Diana Killian.
Grace had left England for California after doing research on the poets of the Romantic Era. Her research also included various adventures including meeting a mysterious former jewel thief named Peter Fox (essentially the first three books of this series). She's combined all this information into a book, a memoir if you will, that her publisher has titled Dangerous to Know, not her first choice for an academic tome. An unknown film company, Kismet Productions, has purchased the rights to the book and plans a direct-to-cable movie. Grace had assumed the film would be a documentary, but instead it seems to be developed as a sexy, action movie. Filming begins in Hollywood before moving to England's Lake District where Grace had lived while doing her research. When the screenwriter adapting the book accidentally dies by a hit-and-run driver, Grace is asked to step in. But she finds the death suspicious and "once Grace gets her teeth into a puzzle she never lets go."
To mix metaphors here, reading Docketful of Poesy is like walking in on the middle of what seems to be a very good movie. It's really a wonderful story, with everything a mystery fan would want: a suspicious death, a beautiful setting, endearing characters, witty banter, an unexpected link between disparate events, a tentative (or maybe not so tentative) romance. And yet there's a sense that the reader has missed something, that the book would have been so much more meaningful, more enjoyable, had the first three books, or any of the previous books, been read before this one. It's not that enough background material wasn't presented; it's just that there seems to be inside information simmering beneath the surface that first time readers aren't cognizant of. On balance, Docketful of Poesy is a terrific mystery, but readers familiar with the earlier exploits of Grace Hollister will probably like it even more.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Docketful of Poesy.
Acknowledgment: Perseverance Press provided a copy of Docketful of Poesy for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Sonnet of the Sphinx
Pocket Books (Mass Market Paperback), March 2006
ISBN-13: 9780743466806; ISBN-10: 0743466802
Location(s) referenced in Docketful of Poesy: England
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Docketful of Poesy by Diana Killian — A Poetic Death Mystery with Grace Hollister
Publisher: Perseverance Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: April 2009
List Price: $14.95