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THE MYSTERY THAT REALLY ISN’T (but is the better for it)!

May 31, 2012

For all intents and purposes, Judge vs. Nuts,  appears to be a mystery.  However, I would like to say right up front that—to me—this is not a mystery … not in the classical sense of having a body (or at least a crime) discovered early on and the whodunit unfolding in energetic, rapid-fire fashion throughout, with many false clues being pursued and the inevitability of the miscreant’s capture or destruction at the very end.

So, I would not call Judge vs. Nuts a mystery. But, I would just as quickly want to say Una Tiers novel is much the better for not following the more classic formula.

As I let my senses be seduced by the lusciousness of her prose and the near flawless timing of her wit, as I watched characters grow out of the words she used to describe them and be transformed into living, breathing entities … still, I found myself wondering, early on in the novel, “where is the body, where the likely suspects—where the mystery?”  And, it bothered me.  It bothered me a lot!  I learned a great deal about the protagonist, Fiona Gavelle, easily fell in love with her, thanks to the ample skills of her author, but I kept asking myself, “when is Fiona going to find herself in the throes of a mystery?

Could it be, I wondered, that Judge vs Nuts  tipped the balance of today’s formulaic mystery by being too character driven?  In other words does the reader experience more of the inner workings of Fiona Gavelle’s mind, and the minds of some of the other major players, at the expense of the action that [in a mystery] is needed to drive the reader’s attention forward like a piston to the climax?

We live in a restless, between-the-commercials, kind of world—and the typical mystery exemplifies that kind of peculiar energy.  As readers, it appears we have internalized that twenty-minute rhythm, and during that span we expect something new to titillate our senses.

It wasn’t until I let myself relax and allowed the storyline to wash over me and, at its own pace, perform its sorcery on my mind that I discovered I had been enjoying nothing less than one of the best mainstream novels I’ve read over the past several years!  The fact that about midway through Judge vs. Nuts the ingredients of a mystery began to be blended into the already developed storyline was a bonus. In the process of linking Fiona Gavelle to the elements of the unfolding mystery, the author added several more glittering facets to her development as a character.

Be assured though, long after the mystery has been forgotten Fiona Gavelle, the character, will be remembered.

See more reviews of Judge vs. Nuts,  sample a portion, or buy

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  1. Good review. I haven’t read it yet. I try to read Echelon Press writers to show support for the publisher of my first novel. Now I have Judge Vs Nuts on my TBR list on kindle. Thanks Jay

    • Thank you so much, Reggie. And I know Una Tiers would be thrilled to know this. Bless you.


    • I’m glad you’re making an exception to your praiseworthy principles and are putting Una’s book on your TBR list. I guarantee you won’t be sorry. And, thank you for the kind words about my review.

  2. Una sent me! LOL…but I was happy to read your review! Enjoyed your words!

    • Glenda thank you. Jay really writes beautiful sentences whether it is in reviews or his own writing.
      Best, Una

  3. Thanks for stopping by Reggie. Let me know if you think it is more mystery or maintstream when you get to it.
    Best, Una

  4. Excellent review. I’ve read Judge vs Nuts and also thoroughly enjoyed the offbeat story and subtle humor.

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