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The Reluctant Detective by Finley Martin
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The Reluctant Detective

by Finley Martin

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Was delighted to read this detective story by a PEI author. Nice to "read local"! However, I had troubles getting into it. Story has merit, but there is backstory given for every character and this makes it tough to concentrate on the important ones. I ended up skipping lots of paragraphs that spent too much time on description of characters past lives, etc.
Maybe it's because I had just seen "Nevermore", Shakespeare By the Sea's excellent production of Poe's stories (where there is no backstory at all and yet you are pulled in immediately and savaged by the story), but this seemed too much.
The female main character is spunky and cheery and one of those people who want to do it all themselves, but I failed to see where the confidence stemmed from. Not many of us would take on serious gangsters without some quailing.
Still, a good read and much fun despite these flaws. Looking forward to seeing more by this author. ( )
  Dabble58 | Jan 1, 2014 |
THE RELUCTANT DETECTIVE by Finley Martin (Detective Fiction, Atlantic Canadian author) 4 star rating

From the beach near our home on Nova Scotia’s North Shore, on a clear night we can see the lights of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. I wouldn’t want to live on PEI but it’s a great place to visit and, after all, part of this “Atlantic Canada” that is now my home.

When she loses her job in Ontario, Anne Brown, a single mother moves back “home” to PEI at her uncle’s invitation, along with her 14-year-old daughter. His hook? “Pay’s not great, but nobody starves on PEI. And there’s no rat race like in Ontario.” Amen to that.
Anne’s uncle runs a Private Investigation service and takes her on as his office manager, but after six years of working together he dies of a heart attack, leaving the business to Anne. Sure, you have to suspend your disbelief a little, but isn’t that what detective fiction is about – suspending disbelief?

There’s a solid, if not greatly innovative, mystery and some slightly bizarre loose ends. But I’d read more if this becomes a series, simply for the Island references.
Read this if: you enjoy private investigator novels; or you are interested in seeing P.E.I. beyond Green Gables. 3½ stars plus ½ for the Atlantic Canada connection = 4 stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Jul 27, 2013 |
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To my wife, Brenda Martin, for her patience and support
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Prolouge: So this is what dying feels like, she thought.
Chapter 1: Growing up, Anne's life had been effortless.
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