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3 out of 4 stars
Review by Thimble
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Jessica is a lawyer in her mid-30s who has recently suffered from marital problems. The morning after her divorce party she finds out that her friend’s husband was murdered overnight. Even though she has never worked a criminal case, she will do whatever she can to help her friend. During the process, she gets in danger, spends a lot of money, and unintentionally forms the “Cat Pack” (a group of helpful people of various backgrounds).
As a character, Jessica is both interesting and unique. She grew up rich, but with distant parents in a troubled relationship. She is also privileged as an adult, aside from her own marriage problems. The book takes place shortly after the housing crash and Great Recession of 2008, so a lot of her friends are dealing with money problems. She avoids becoming an unsympathetic character by being aware of her privilege and using it to help others. She deals with her problems by drinking alcohol and shopping.
Jessica is not an infallible sleuth. This can be frustrating for the reader sometimes, but it works for the tone of the book. It’s not a true cozy mystery, like the Hannah Swensen series, but it has many moments of intrinsic humor. The tone is more like a realistic procedural. Jessica must handle all of the legal and financial paperwork that is necessary when someone dies. She also clashes with the local authorities because she is new to sleuthing and they understandably don’t appreciate outside investigations.
Here are some other things to consider. This book has a lot of drinking and several deaths. There are allusions to domestic violence as well descriptions of other violence. Nothing is overly descriptive. This book would be appropriate for readers of age 13 or above, though a lot of the story wouldn’t be very interesting to most readers under the age of 20.
I rate A Dead Husband a 3 out of 4. The beginning is very slow because of large chunks of exposition, but the pace picks up as the story moves along. I recommend it for readers that enjoy cozy mysteries with an additional emphasis on actual investigative procedure.
A Dead Husband
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Amagine wrote:I like the character of Jessica. She knows she is a privileged brat (lol) but uses it for the better good. Also I think the fact that she is not a great sleuth makes this a realistic story indeed.
Thanks! I wouldn't really say that Jessica is bratty, though. Aside from her monetary and educational success, she's been through quite a bit before the beginning of the book. She's a very well-developed character.
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