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reviewed Brandy & Bullets by Donald Bain (Murder, She Wrote, #4)

Donald Bain, Jessica Fletcher: Brandy & Bullets (1995, Signet) 3 stars

Fell short

3 stars

I thought this story was really interesting for most of it. It was set in Cabot Cove and had more of the MSW charm the previous three novels were missing. There were some short-lived oversights in character, like when Jessica mentions that she doesn’t consider herself much of a teacher, despite having been an English teacher her entire pre-author career in the television series. But the ending really threw me for a loop and felt incredibly unbelievable.

reviewed Rum & Razors by Donald Bain (Murder, She Wrote, #3)

Donald Bain, Jessica Fletcher: Rum & Razors (1995, Signet) 2 stars

Caribbean Get Away

2 stars

I found this book least enjoyable of the three I’ve read so far. Jessica’s characterization was better, if not a bit too pushy, but the final scenes felt incredibly weak. Motivations both simplistic and convoluted, all communicated through exposition after the fact. It fell pretty flat for me. And I’m at a loss as to why Jessica’s friend(s) keep showing up. I think in these early books of the series the author must be leaning hard on well known and beloved characters to stoke the reader’s interest. I’d prefer they stay in Cabot Cove, or else give us a mystery based there.