Your Life is Mine has a great hook. Blanche, the daughter of a famous deceased cult leader tries to solve her mother’s murder many years later. Was it simply a random home invasion or has her father’s cult returned to complete his mandate? At the same time, a journalist is threatening to expose Blanche as the cult leader’s daughter, which could destroy her own journalism career.
Your Life is Mine has such potential. However, I didn’t relate to any of the characters—not even Blanche. Despite being about a murderous cult, the story dragged for me. Finally at about 90% into the book, the pace picks up to page-turning. There is the obligatory twisty reveal and then a quick wrap up of all the other loose ends. It was underwhelming to a frequent thriller reader like me and, sadly, a missed opportunity for the author. 2.5 stars.
Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: Cult, Jun 4 2019
Originally published in 1947, Death Makes a Prophet is one golden age mystery that deserves to find a new audience.
The Children of Osiris, or Cooism for short, is a church/cult based on a mishmash of Egyptian gods, astral bodies, meditation and vegetarianism. Its founder, Eustace Mildmann, is the High Prophet. One of Cooism’s highest members, Mrs. Hagge-Smith, donates substantial funds to the church including a 5,000 pound annual stipend to the High Prophet. However, she is entranced by the dynamic personality of the Prophet-in-Waiting, Peta Penpeti. So rapt that she creates an additional annual stipend of 500 pounds for him. Penpeti and Hagge-Smith plot a coup on Cooism: hoping to overthrow Mildmann if favor of Penpeti. Several church members remain loyal to Mildmann and tell him of the rebellion. Meanwhile, Terrence, Mildmann’s son, is attracted to Mrs. Hagge-Smith’s secretary, Denise, but the romance is thwarted by both his father and Mrs. Hagge-Smith.
Death Makes a Prophet is bursting with plots. It is one part Preston & Child and two parts Agatha Christie. The plot synopsis above is only from the first 10% of the book. There is a cauldron of attempted murder, mistaken identity, murder, suicide, theft, sex without benefit of marriage, blackmail and more within the storyline. It is genuinely awesome how all of these disparate puzzle pieces magically transform into a clear picture by the end of the book. Mr. Bude was a master at misdirection and it is a treat to read this book. It kept me guessing until the end. However, the book is best read on a Kindle as some of the words may be unfamiliar to modern audiences (e.g. toper, rissoles, abeyance, paucity, surfeit). Some of the phrases also take a little detective work to figure out.
“I’ll cut the cackle and come to the goose, eh?”
seems to mean I’ll get to the point. Some phrases are rather racist and one contains the n-word so sensitive readers may not enjoy this book. However, for all other mystery lovers this book is highly recommended.
Thanks to the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, and NetGalley for an advanced review copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: Cult, Golden age mystery, Jan 2 2018, Police procedural, series