Wednesday, June 23, 2004

It's pretty rare that I don't finish a book. I have been known to return library books unread or even to buy used books that I later get rid of without ever reading anything more than the flyleaf or back cover summary (this happens a lot with the ones I get at those library sales where you buy a grocery bag for $5 and then get to fill it with whatever you want). But usually if I have made it past the first 50 pages I'll finish it. It may take me a while, but it will happen eventually.

So when I say that I'm returning Maggie By the Book by Kasey Michaels after slogging through 100 pages, you'll understand just how irritated I was by this book. Actually, to be more precise, by one of the characters in the book. This is the second book in what I assume will be a series. I bought a paperback copy of the first book a year or so ago because the premise seemed cute and it looked like a fun, quick mystery read. The series is about a mystery writer (and former romance novelist) whose two main characters (a Regency-era detective and his sidekick) appear in her living room in the present day. And it just so happens that there is a murder and the writer becomes a suspect. See? Silly and fun. Well, sort of. Because the detective is one of the more annoying characters I've encountered. It's made worse because everyone apparently loves him despite his being a completely pompous ass all the damn time. I finished the first book (Maggie Needs an Alibi) though before tossing it in the giveaway bag.

So why did I check out the second one? Basically because I liked everyone else in the damn book. Maggie is neurotic and sarcastic and reading about her trying to write love scenes made me giggle. Her publisher is a hoot, her editor is funny, and most of the other minor characters are appealing. Even the sidekick has his moments. I thought perhaps in the second book Alex and Sterling (the detective and sidekick) would have settled down a little bit and Alex wouldn't be as annoying. Also, this second book is set at a romance writers convention and I guess I was hoping for another Die For Love, which I love. Neither was the case. I found myself lying in bed last night, actually watching commercials rather than reading. Once I realized it was because I really couldn't care less about the book, despite liking Maggie and Bernie and all the others, I knew it was time to admit defeat.

So if pompous assholes are your thing then this is the series for you. As for me, I have Pip and Flinx and the threat of the destruction of the universe waiting for me.

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