Doing Max Vinyl (Annie Ogden Mystery #1) by Frederick Lee Brooke
Published April 2011
Read: March 2012
was really looking forward to reading this book. After reading
Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman by J. B. Lynn, I wanted
another fun, bit sassy, kick butt heroine in a gripping story of right
and wrong and unearthing truths. Doing Max Vinyl sounded like it fit the
bill. Annie Ogden just returned from several tours in Iraq. I pictured
"shoot now, ask questions later" attitude with hints of vulnerability.
Then there was the slick businessman hiding the criminal activities of
his recycling business - I thought organized crime rumblings must be
afoot in the environmental business.
What I got was a
character who never fully became three dimensional to me and seemed to
be regulated to secondary character more often than not (though the
series is named after her). Max turned out to be a sniveling creep. I
have no idea how he had brains enough to run a successful business with
underhanded dealings. Though probably in his 30s he often acted much like a hormonal high school teenager.
You know how a person's habits
may really grate on your nerves and it is usually habits you yourself
have that you don't really like? Well, I think that was some of my
problem with Doing Max Vinyl. I don't know who told me this about my writing
but at some time during my school days I was told "why use 3 words when 1
will do" This became a mantra while reading this book. In all honesty, I
think a good third of the book could have been edited out and you would
have a much tighter, more sophisticated book.
story did have great potential. When the story focused on the main plot
and Annie it was great and I could almost forget the frustration I had
with the story. But then the story would go off on a tangent. I'm all
for plot lines that seem to be unrelated but in the end all come
together. But that didn't happen. I know this is a series, but I thought
it would be focused on the adventures of Annie Ogden a la Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.
Now I'm not sure how the series will play out. One plot thread seems
concluded though it was an abrupt ending and I'm not sure I got enough
resolution, but I also can't see it playing out further in another
Overall, Doing Max Vinyl left me shrugging my shoulders.
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Doing Max Vinyl by Frederick Lee Brooke