This was another book I found free on Amazon, and since I’m trying to read more Indie authors this year, I had to pick it up, both because I’m addicted to murder mysteries and I love humorous novels.
Even though this review might come across as slightly critical, before I continue, this book is up to par with any conventionally published mystery novel. So often I read Indie books and find them so poorly refined when it comes to basic things, from grammar to plot construction. But this book is a masterpiece beside most Indie books. Thus, if I judged it beside Indie books, it wouldn’t be fair, so instead I’ll be judging it as I would any regularly published book.
Release: March, 2014
Synopsis: This is the first book of the Raina Sun Mysteries. Raina is a struggling graduate student with only enough money to eat ramen. It doesn’t help that her handsome college adviser conned her out of two thousand dollars and broke up with her. And just when she sets out on a quest to make him give her money back, he ends up dead, forcing her into the dreaded position as the main murder suspect. It probably doesn’t help that the lead detective on the case just happens to be her ex-husband.
If this review was based entirely on the mystery side of this book, I could easily give it five stars. The novel is extremely well-written and though I’m too fond of the level of romance or just how annoying Raina is, I couldn’t help but have fun on the journey. Besides, I did not guess the solution to the crime until the end, which is rare for me.
The critical issue I had with this book is Raina herself. For the record, she is an extremely interesting character and well-developed, especially for a mystery novel. However, she’s also so frustrating. She has no initiative, lets people manipulate her easily, and seems incapable of not being a complete push-over. Her ex, the detective Matthew, is a complete asshole (forgive my language, but he deserves it), who refuses to communicate with her about anything, and yet Raina still seems in love with him (why, girl, why?). However, for the record, that doesn’t make her a poorly-developed character. She just grated on my nerves, probably because I am such an opposite person from her (in both height and personality).
As for the background characters, there were certain ones who stood out (like Raina’s grandmother Po Po, who was my personal favorite character), but I did confuse many of the women who were suspects, mostly because they were all very similar characters. However, since the main characters, like Raina’s best friend Eden and Matthew, were interesting, I didn’t mind it too much.
The mystery itself was great. I was constantly confused by who might have killed the adviser. It was the type of mystery where the victim was a horrible person with many enemies, which makes it fun because anyone could have done it. And I was happy with the conclusion.
Will I continue on with the series? Possibly. Since Raina grated on my nerves so much, though, it’s certainly not going to be high on my TBR list. However, I genuinely enjoyed reading the mystery parts, and at one point, I completely forgot I was reading an Indie book. Several times I had to check Goodreads to make sure it was actually an Indie book, because it seemed too well-written to not be. I’m not sure if that means published cozy mysteries are really good or most Indie books are really bad…
Would you be interested to read this book? What do you think of Indie mysteries or Indie books in general? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more madness and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,