2 out of 4 stars
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Arsenic and Old men is a Mitch and Al mystery by author Glenn Ickler. The story begins with the death of beloved former editor of the Daily Dispatch, Walter Jerome, in his own home on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Walter's nephew, Dave, decides to take a short trip to the island from St. Paul, Minnesota, with a few of his friends (Mitch and Al) to deal with his Uncle's financial affairs. When they arrive they are immediately thrown into a murder investigation. Walter Jerome's death, previously thought to be caused by a heart attack, has been identified as arsenic poisoning after a routine autopsy. The trio's previously short getaway is lengthened suddenly into a mysterious and possibly dangerous adventure.
Arsenic And Old Men by Glenn Ickler throws you straight into the story. Written from the perspective of the Daily Dispatch reporter Mitch, the story introduces the reader to multiple characters in the first few pages. I liked the idea of a reporter and his friends solving a murder mystery before the police. I enjoyed reading this book's beginning. The first few chapters were fast-paced and full of humor. The trio of men had a good banter that continued throughout the story. The mystery at the beginning of the book is intriguing and captures your attention quickly. The book is also short and easy to get through in a day or two.
I have more negatives than positives for this book, although it starts out promising, I lost most of my interest halfway through. The main characters provide a good laugh, but the story doesn't go any deeper than silly puns, and you don't learn much about the characters except small side plots that don't contribute much to the ongoing story. The mystery aspect of the book, initially intriguing, becomes bland and predictable later.
The author did not seem to put much effort into differentiating his female characters. They all seemed to have similar or stereotypical personalities. Attention seemed to be given more to the male characters. They were further differentiated and fleshed out. I also felt that certain scenes in this book were unnecessary, as they did not contribute to the plot and seemed only in place for the laughs or shock factor. And lastly, some of the descriptions of the actions and surroundings were tedious and felt unnecessary.
I would rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. I was disappointed when I finished the book, but I think another person may enjoy it. I would have liked the story more if it had a more complicated storyline and characters. I would recommend this book to male readers who enjoy short and easy mysteries with some good laughs.
Arsenic and Old Men
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