To Catch a Bad Guy – “The Woman Detective”

January 17, 2014

To Catch

To Catch a Bad Guy

by Marie Astor

Amazon Paperback, $8.09

This is a clean-cut, fast moving story that is fun to read and fast to forget. But let me talk about the romance/mystery genre. Raymond Chandler once wrote: “A love interest nearly always weakens a mystery because it introduces a type of suspense that is antagonistic to the detective’s struggle to solve the problem. It stacks the cards, and in nine cases out of ten, it eliminates at least two useful suspects. The only effective love interest is that which creates a personal hazard for the detective – but which at the same time, you instinctively feel to be a mere episode. A really good detective never gets married. (Raymond Chandler, Casual Notes on the Mystery Novel).

I have to agree for the male-centered stories he was writing. They were escapism for men who didn’t have a clue about women (which makes women the perfect fall gals in Dashiell Hammett).

But this is a woman author with a female heroine. There’s plenty of left-brain stock market stuff but now there is the double question: “What is romance?” And, “What is mystery?”—especially if it comes at the cost of betraying your best friend or your emotions?

I read into the night to finish the story, but thought about the issues the book raises long after I’d finished it.

Someone, in one of the comments about another book, asked why I gave something a high rating while greatly criticizing it. In the case of this book, there is a dog on the cover who looks like my Jack Russell Terrier, that’s why I read it. As it turns out, the dog, Baxter, doesn’t play any role it the story. That kind of Patronizing by the publisher is why I would give this a low rating. The questions “To Catch a Bad Guy” raise about detective writing itself, are the source of this lengthy verbal response.

2 out of 5_edited-1


One comment

  1. This fella looks like he’d be the right pooch for the job. Is that correct?

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