Today I'm posting a couple of lighthearted mysteries I recently read. To be honest neither of them lived up to my expectations. I find this genre can be really hit or miss--well mostly miss. A lot of the time these books are supposed to be really funny, but end up just being silly. I did like Louisiana Longshot a lot more than 'Scuse me While I Kill This Guy. I am on a quest to find a lighthearted mystery that is really laugh out loud funny without being silly or implausible. I'm just not sure one like that exists.
Louisiana Longshot by Jana Deleon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery, Comedy
CIA Assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever--in Sinful, Louisiana.
I was looking for something lighthearted to read when I decided on Louisiana Longshot and it was indeed lighthearted. Though not as funny as I had hoped, it did have its laugh out loud moments.
CIA agent Fortune Redding's cover has been blown and a price has been put on her head so she is sent off the grid to the tiny town of Sinful Louisiana to lie low for a while. Fortune feels completely out of her element posing as an ex beauty queen who works as a librarian and is in town to take care of her "aunt's" estate. However, not long after she arrives the dog digs up a human bone. Mishap after mishap occurs when she agrees to help a couple of seemingly innocent little old ladies, who the locals refer to as the Geritol Mafia, uncover who murdered the man. Fortune isn't just completely out of her element pretending to be an ex beauty queen, she is also completely out of her element in the Louisiana swamp country.
"As soon as I finished that shower, it was time to break out my laptop and do some reading on Louisiana. It was stranger than any foreign country I’d ever been in."
Being from there I can attest to that!
While this was a fun diversion I wouldn't go into this one with real high expectations as there isn't too much thinking involved. My biggest complaint was that most of the time Fortune didn't seem like much of an assassin to me. There were moments where her skills as an assassin did shine, if briefly, only to be dumbed down for the sake of a few laughs as she makes one unwise decision after another. I also found it hard to believe that a CIA spy would really feel that out of her element anywhere. Aren't they trained to play just about any role and to fit in just about anywhere? That's what I would have thought anyway. It ended up coming off as unbelievable. I think the story would have been much better had she just really been the person she was pretending to be instead of an assassin in hiding.
On the other hand, the little old ladies were a hoot and I loved their backstory and the town of Sinful where little old ladies make moonshine and the Baptists and the Catholics have a war going on over banana pudding. I got a good chuckle out of the names of the churches, Sinful Baptist and Sinful Catholic. I looked up Sinful Louisiana to see if there really is such a town, but there is not.
This is the first book in a series and I may read more when I'm in the mood for something silly.
'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy by Leslie Langtry
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Comedy
YOU CAN'T PICK YOUR FAMILY...
In 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy, the main character Virginia (Gin) Bombay belongs to a family of assassins. In the Bombay family there is no leaving the family business unless you want to die.
BUT YOU CAN PICK THEM OFF.
A family meeting is called and usually this only takes place if one of the family members is in big trouble, like they betrayed the family kind of trouble, and that usually means one of the other family members will be chosen to carry out the assassination. Yeah, real warm and fuzzy family we have here...
I went into this book hoping that it was truly laugh out loud funny, maybe like Mr. and Mrs. Smith was funny, especially after she meets a guy who claims to be a bodyguard, which is what she uses as her cover. There was so much potential there. He could have been secretly working against her or something, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.
With the exception of one paragraph about Chia Pets with supersonic listening devices, this book didn't make me laugh at all. I know I was supposed to find the main character's inner monologue about the hot guy she had just started dating funny but to me it was just cheesy (and the insta-love thing ugh!). I was probably also supposed to laugh at the first names of the whole Bombay family in which every one of them is named after a place, like Uncle Lou whose name is Louisiana (who would do that to a guy?), or cousin Missi. That's short for Mississippi in case you couldn't figure that out. The whole name thing might have started out mildly amusing, but it got old and repetitive after a while, which resulted in me rolling my eyes every time a new relative was named.
However, my biggest problem with this book beyond it not being funny was the fact that the Bombays were all forced to start training to become assassins at the age of 5 and Gin's daughter is now turning 5. If there was anything funny about this book, it would have been trumped by this as I just couldn't stand the thought of training 5 year olds to be killers and there was no way the book could make this seem ok to me. Also Gin suddenly realizes her daughter is turning 5 and kind of freaks out about it because, oh my goodness she forgot her daughter was going to have to start her assassin training. I'm pretty sure that any real mother would have been thinking about that for years.
So overall this was a letdown and it seems I'm still looking for a really funny, lighthearted mystery. This is a series but I will not be continuing with it.
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