Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Murder in Miniature by Margaret Grace

Murder in Miniature is a true cozy mystery. Nothing violent happens on screen - it is like reading a classic play. The only people who die, die offstage. The characters hear about what happened to them but never actually see any gore. Even the main character is never put in real danger - no gun toting or kidnapping. It is very sanitized.

After finishing The Shipping News which is not plot-driven I needed a story with a bit more to lead me through it. Margaret Grace succeeded on that front. The plot revolves around a temporarily kidnapped friend, a murdered drifter, and a found sapphire. The main character is an aging widow and her ten-year old granddaughter. The theme is building dollhouses. The characters are always on the looking for ways to incorporate found objects into their dollhouses. The sapphire is found inside a craft tote bag of dollhouse making materials.

This would be a perfect book for your great aunt who doesn't like things that are too messy. Or for your 11 year old niece who wants to read more grown-up books but doesn't need all the gore or sex so many books can have. It is innocent - while still a murder mystery.

Great literature? No. A good summer diversion? Yep.

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