3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Professor Lawrence Hunter, a chemistry teacher at the Boxer College, is found on the floor of the chemistry laboratory by his student assistant. Unfortunately, it turns out that he was actually murdered in that same lab while no one was around to witness it. Detective Ann Morgan and her partner, Samuel T. Boone, arrive on the scene to investigate the case. But the only lead they have is a cryptic chemistry formula left by the professor on the chalkboard, and they are having a hard time figuring out what exactly went down. Much to their dismay, the incident gets heavily publicized in the small town of Avon, and they are under pressure to find the killer or it can have serious consequences for their careers. While this was enough to prey on Ann's mind, the situation gets a lot more intricate when she becomes the object of pursuit for three faculty members at the college. She always followed and believed in the principle of never getting involved with a suspect of her case. However, Ann is finding it difficult to resist the charms of these men. Can she keep a clear head and focus on solving the case?
Detective Ann Morgan and The Boxer College Murder: second edition by John Tomikel is a classic whodunit crime mystery loaded with romantic encounters. The lead character is Ann, and the book follows her as she finds her way around the crime and her romantic life as well. Other characters that are of significance include Ann's detective partner, some college professors, and the students of the college.
I was pleased with the suspenseful aspect of the book as the uncertainty behind who was the killer kept me hooked until the end. The ending was unexpected but not exactly improbable or out of place. Also, the humor and light side of the book was not lost on me, as there are many parts in the narrative that are quite enjoyable and set a light-hearted tone.
A quick-witted basketball coach, a nerdy chemistry professor are all part of the storyline and Ann's quest in finding the killer. Every character has different attributes and adds different flavors to the story. I was specifically amused with Ann's personality; she is not exactly the headstrong and reserved cop but is still very convincing in her seriousness towards her job, even when she gets distracted by her lack of a romantic life more than once. I was quite taken aback with some of her characteristics when it came to her personal relationships. I must say that I would have preferred her to be more businesslike, though her nature made her look more like a human and less like a fictional character.
This is the first installment of The Detective Ann Morgan Series, and, at present, there are five others that succeed this one. All the parts seem to be based on a separate case and can be read as a stand-alone book. The majority of this book is told from Ann's perspective, so it follows the first-person style of narration. However, some parts are narrated in the third person to give the readers information about the setting and other characters. This felt just right as I was not only able to get an inside look into Ann's thoughts and feelings but also did not lose track of the overall backdrop.
Although I prefer crime and mystery books without any involvement of romance in it, I like how the author has used these themes here. Instead of chapters, there are numbered headings that divide the book into different parts. It's a fast-paced mystery with only 176 pages and can be just the book when you need something suspenseful but light at the same time. Steer clear of this one if you are into action-packed mysteries and cannot tolerate the thought of romance or dating getting in the middle of a crime-solving session.
The only upsetting thing about the book for me is its editing. There are a number of errors that can be easily rectified. It looks as if the book is not professionally edited, and I would highly recommend the author to get it properly edited and formatted. While it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the book, I really despise the fact that these errors often overshadow a great read. Other than that, I don't have anything to complain about the read and would recommend it to those who are into romance and light-hearted crime mysteries. There is some mature content but those are mainly towards the end of the book and are not explicit.
I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars for its engaging storyline, unpredictable mystery, and a well-developed lead character, and I'm taking away a star due to the blatant editing errors.
Detective Ann Morgan and The Boxer College Murder: second edition
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon