Moving Can Be Murder
A Carol and Jim Andrews Mystery by Susan Santangelo
Review: When their daughter announces she's moving into her own apartment, retired couple — and now empty-nesters — Carol and Jim Andrews decide to downsize from their large suburban family home of over 30 years in Moving Can Be Murder, the second mystery in this series by Susan Santangelo.
Carol narrates the harrowing tale of their move, and in a series subtitled "Every Wife Has a Story", you just know the husband isn't going to come off looking good. And indeed he doesn't. When he's not being cheap to the point of miserly, he's sloppy or clueless. Carol keeps referring to him as My Beloved, though she might just as well be calling him My Idiot Husband. No doubt this is supposed to be said in an affectionate if eye-rolling sort of way, but it's repeated so frequently and often in such a sarcastic manner that it becomes annoying, grating even. That such attention can be paid to such a relatively minor detail is illustrative as to how thinly plotted this mystery is. At one point, Carol tells the reader that she "[has] a tendency to drag stories out" and that's probably the most significant problem with Moving Can Be Murder: it's one, long, leisurely paced discourse on Carol and Jim's attempts to move when a dead body inconveniently intrudes on their already fragile plans.
Based on its premise, one might expect this to be a light mystery with some comedic elements — which, it is — yet a somewhat incongruous aspect to the book is how dark it is in places, particularly when it comes to spousal abuse. (A character introduced about half-way through, Sister Rose, Carol's former high school English teacher, runs a program for victims of domestic violence.) An important topic, to be sure, but one that seems at odds with the playful abuse that Carol regularly heaps on Jim. (Sample chapter heading: Q: Does your husband help you around the house? A: He's very handy with a corkscrew, especially on weekends.)
Moving Can Be Murder ends, however, on a promising note, setting up the (not unexpected) plotline for what is sure to be the next in the series.
Acknowledgment: Susan Santangelo provided a copy of Moving Can Be Murder for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Moving Can Be Murder: Connecticut
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Moving Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo — A Carol and Jim Andrews Mystery
Publisher: Baby Boomer Mysteries Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: May 2011
List Price: $15.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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