Go to Homepage   Marlys Milhiser: Killer Commute

  Crescent Blues Book Views

Three moon gifSt. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover), ISBN 0312266103
Quirky characters inhabit Charlie Green's little gated community in Long Beach, from the nearly annoying little old lady neighbor, Betty Beesom, to the shadowy Jeremy Fiedler, the man who acts as the communities' de-facto Book: Marlys Milhiser, Killer Commuteleader. But lately, Charlie's interminable daily commute to and from Los Angeles dominates her life. Beyond the drive, all Charlie can think about is her upcoming week-long vacation -- a vacation she plans to spend entirely at home.

But Charlie's plans change when she finds Jeremy dead in the front seat of his truck. With a history of finding dead bodies, the local police eye Charlie with something beyond ordinary interest, and she soon realizes that if she wants her name cleared, she must solve the murder herself.

Book: Marlys Milhiser, It's Murder Going HomeWith its wacky characters and quirky situations, Killer Commute almost falls into the Janet Evanovich zaniness category. Charlie and her neighbors strike a familiar cozy chord. You wouldn't be surprised if Miss Marple decided to pop in and say "howdy." But I found the book a little on the lean side when it comes to plot and character development.

I enjoyed reading the story, even though I sometimes found it difficult to keep up with the revolving-door characters. A little on the Seinfeld-side (as if seen through a L.A. lens), Millhiser's characters pop in and out of the scenery with an offbeat sense of unreality. Of course, considering the setting's proximity to La-La Land, you should almost expect it. Imagine a West Coast version of Friends meeting a younger Jessica Fletcher. The plot requires a little suspension of disbelief, but it works if you want fun and cozy. Killer Commute deserves a read if you like easy-going, quirky mysteries, but give it a wide berth if your preferences run to the dark and brooding tale.

Maria Y. Lima

Click here to share your views.