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March 20, 2012

Hmmm: Doing Max Vinyl

Doing Max Vinyl (Annie Ogden Mystery #1) by Frederick Lee Brooke
Published April 2011
Read: March 2012

I 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.

The 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 book.

Overall, Doing Max Vinyl left me shrugging my shoulders.

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Doing Max Vinyl by Frederick Lee Brooke

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  1. AND IT WAS NOT A MYSTERY! I have not finished it and honestly probably won't! I think Fred writes really well, but my strong female character still has not come through for me! AND I decided to read it because it was bill as a mystery, there is no mystery! LOL Mystery to me means I also should be guessing and somewhat in the dark right along with the character, since we are not even involved in the character there is nothing and we are told everything LOL What about the groper chapter.. WHAT WHAT?