6 Jan 2011

BONE IDLE.

First reviewed on MISHA'S BLOG way back in November 2010 I thought I'd repost this for those of you who may have missed it.

BONE IDLE by SUZETTE A. HILL.

The Reverend Francis Oughterard is the vicar of St Botolph's and genteel murderer of parishoner Mrs  Elizabeth Fotherington. So far excluding arrest (but with fears of imminent exposure), he is in the grip of his blackmailing pal, the shady Nicholas Ingaza, who forces him to steal a valuable figurine of a prancing pig. Naturally the project backfires, plunging the hapless vicar into further skulduggery and leading to embarrassing complications for him and his pompous bishop, Horace Clinker. Once again it is up to the world-weary cat, Maurice and intrepid mongrel, Bouncer, to save the reverends bacon.
..... From the outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: When Detective Sergeant Sidney Samson appeared on my doorstep to announce the reopening of the Elizabeth Fotherington murder enquiry I thought at first that I was hallucinating.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (was there one?): "Can't you deliver a little homily on the use of chewing gum as a prelude to dental decay and sin?"

Looks and sounds like it should be a fun read, right? Well I certainly thought so.

The third outing in the Francis Oughterard series, Bone Idle, I am informed is set in 1950's England.

Not exactly what I was expecting, in fact absolutely nothing like I was expecting, I disliked this book from early on. Poorly and lazily written, I was one-step ahead of the author all the way through so there were no surprises in what was billed as a mystery.

Then there was the fact that the story was told by three differently individuals - the 'Vicar's Version', the 'Cat's Memoir's' and the 'Dog's Diary' - which could have been interesting but wasn't. In fact all it really did was make a 366 (large print) book seem even longer than it was as often the story was told three times albeit from a slightly different perspective.

What about the characters then? Surely there was some good characters. In a word, no. Almost without exception the author had decided on strange names (Maude Tubbly Pole, Edith Hopgarden) for most of her creations and so what might have been comical if she had left this to a few became nonsensical, bordering on the absurd. They were also stereotypical, the 'boozy' vicar, the gossiping female parishioners, shall I go on? And as for Maurice (the cat) and Bouncer (the dog) -  I feel they could have been a golden opportunity to write something just that little bit different but this, sadly, failed to happen.

Bone Idle was a library book read.

18 comments:

Misha said...

I have searched for this book ever since you reviewed it on my blog. I can't seem to get hold of it :(

chitra said...

Just here to say Hi PW, Hope you are fine,son is home, washing machine conked out.Computer problems,too much work on hand.:(
My son got a kindle. it looks attractive and sleek. He need not carry big books now . Good option for who are into serious reading.

Mary said...

Have you read the other books in the series? Just wondering how it compares. Sorry this didn't work, though. That's always disappointing in a cozy mystery.

Vivienne said...

Oh dear. That one needs to be left to lay idle on the library shelf!

Bonnie said...

Hi Tracy, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Sorry the book didn't deliver because I love a good cozy mystery. Why don't you try The Cat Who books by Lillian Jackson Braun or the Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Mae Brown. They are both in the same genre with pets who are given a voice and help solve the mystery. Hope you enjoyed the holidays with your friends and family!

xo, Bonnie

R. Ramesh said...

oh tracy is yr name is it? hahah dint know...hey thanks ya.wish u 2 d very best of 2011..

Arti said...

Must be a real bad book, you could not find a single memorable moment!!
Have a nice day:-)

BookQuoter said...

Poorly and lazily written, that sounds such a sad read.

Dorte H said...

But it could have been worse: you could have PAID for it! ;D

Melissa Gill said...

Didn't you read another book by this author and think it was lousy? Thanks for putting yourself through another one of these to keep us informed.

Stranger said...

Umm... a book to avoid. I hate sloppy mysteries...

naida said...

too bad it dissapointed!
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

GMR said...

Oh I remember this one...the cover gave it away. Thanks for the repost though! Always fun to remember the good and the not so much. Happy reading!

Marinela said...

Must be really bad book!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Aw... too bad it didn't deliver. Just the title makes you want to pick it up. Hopefully your next read is better. Thanks for the honest review!

Kelly said...

A shame. It could have been fun with the alternate perspectives of the dog and cat.

Jenners said...

I was just caught by the term "genteel murderer." It does sound like it would be promising ... too bad to hear it wasn't.

Sridharan said...

Every time I come to your blog, I get lost in the right bar...! I meant the likes of Evolution and A CULINARY DISASTER... Nice ones..Including the Food for thought cooked in your kitchen Called Pen and Paper..!