Posted in REVIEWS

THE MYSTERY THAT REALLY ISN’T (but is the better for it)!

For all intents and purposes, Judge vs. Nuts,  appears to be a mystery.  However, I would like to say right up front that—to me—this is not a mystery … not in the classical sense of having a body (or at least a crime) discovered early on and the whodunit unfolding in energetic, rapid-fire fashion throughout, with many false clues being pursued and the inevitability of the miscreant’s capture or destruction at the very end.

So, I would not call Judge vs. Nuts a mystery. But, I would just as quickly want to say Una Tiers novel is much the better for not following the more classic formula.

As I let my senses be seduced by the lusciousness of her prose and the near flawless timing of her wit, as I watched characters grow out of the words she used to describe them and be transformed into living, breathing entities … still, I found myself wondering, early on in the novel, “where is the body, where the likely suspects—where the mystery?”  And, it bothered me.  It bothered me a lot!  I learned a great deal about the protagonist, Fiona Gavelle, easily fell in love with her, thanks to the ample skills of her author, but I kept asking myself, “when is Fiona going to find herself in the throes of a mystery?

Could it be, I wondered, that Judge vs Nuts  tipped the balance of today’s formulaic mystery by being too character driven?  In other words does the reader experience more of the inner workings of Fiona Gavelle’s mind, and the minds of some of the other major players, at the expense of the action that [in a mystery] is needed to drive the reader’s attention forward like a piston to the climax?

We live in a restless, between-the-commercials, kind of world—and the typical mystery exemplifies that kind of peculiar energy.  As readers, it appears we have internalized that twenty-minute rhythm, and during that span we expect something new to titillate our senses.

It wasn’t until I let myself relax and allowed the storyline to wash over me and, at its own pace, perform its sorcery on my mind that I discovered I had been enjoying nothing less than one of the best mainstream novels I’ve read over the past several years!  The fact that about midway through Judge vs. Nuts the ingredients of a mystery began to be blended into the already developed storyline was a bonus. In the process of linking Fiona Gavelle to the elements of the unfolding mystery, the author added several more glittering facets to her development as a character.

Be assured though, long after the mystery has been forgotten Fiona Gavelle, the character, will be remembered.

See more reviews of Judge vs. Nuts,  sample a portion, or buy

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My Twitter account identifies me as “a writer, a salesman, an optimist, a dreamer,” and adds: “may the four always cohabit and produce wondrous progeny.” Each of the first two identifies a blood-and-bone human being, living in the real world who works very hard at being honest and caring—but, who is still evolving in these areas. The last two (“optimist” and “dreamer”) are foundational qualities in my life. They keep a fire crackling under me that hopefully fuels the writer … and also the salesman, whose hat each of us is hard-wired to wear. Sandwiched somewhere between writing and selling, I attended college and even tried my hand at selling high school kids on why they should love learning and reading and writing. That was a brief stint. Whether teaching failed me or I it, I don’t know. You’d have to ask the kids—though many might be doddering by now, and some dead. Still, experientially, it is a part of me. I am married, living with my dog, Sirius, in Bakersfield, California, and separately from my wife.

9 thoughts on “THE MYSTERY THAT REALLY ISN’T (but is the better for it)!

  1. Good review. I haven’t read it yet. I try to read Echelon Press writers to show support for the publisher of my first novel. Now I have Judge Vs Nuts on my TBR list on kindle. Thanks Jay

    1. I’m glad you’re making an exception to your praiseworthy principles and are putting Una’s book on your TBR list. I guarantee you won’t be sorry. And, thank you for the kind words about my review.

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