Crunch Time by Diana Mott Davidson: A review

Cozy mysteries are my guilty reading pleasure and I read a lot of them.  Most of them are, indeed, pleasurable on some level, but every once in a while, I run into a clunker.  Crunch Time was such a clunker.

Here are just a few things that annoyed me about this book:

1. Davidson continually uses question marks to punctuate sentences that are clearly declarative.

2. Her heroine, Goldy Schultz, draws wild conclusions based on absolutely ZERO evidence. Of course, her conclusions magically turn out to be right!

3. Throughout the book, there are numerous references to Goldy's neighbor, Jack, who is "gone." Is he dead? Has he moved to Florida? We don't know. Perhaps it was all explained in some previous book in the series, but I DIDN'T READ THAT BOOK! Would it have killed the writer to offer a paragraph of exposition to explain why Jack was gone, who he was, and why his absence was so upsetting to Goldy?

4. At least a quarter of the book is filler describing driving back and forth around Denver in the snow. This had nothing whatever to do with the plot. It was just a narrative describing getting Goldy from one place to another.

5. A second quarter - at least - was fluff about Denver weather, especially early snowfalls in September and how difficult that made life and just getting around for everybody. Again, none of this "difficulty" was related in any way to the plot. It didn't move the story forward one centimeter. It just filled space. There's more fluff as well - things about Goldy's devotion to her church, things about her son and his friends, the Cuba connection that was thrown in even though, again, it didn't really figure in the plot. Overall, I estimate that perhaps three-fourths of this book was nothing but filler.

6. Somewhere near the end of the book, the narrator, Goldy, refers to a "wild Canadian goose chase." A. Wild. "Canadian." Goose. Chase!!! Really.


I have actually read some of the earlier books in this series and I don't remember any of them being this bad.


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