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Choked Off by Andrea Frazer
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An average read and relatively amusing. The beginning of the book introduced all the characters and I was beginning to wonder when Falconer would appear, which he did but quite late in the story. The plot was predictable and the way the police solved the crime was lamentable. ( )
  imyknott | Dec 13, 2015 |
The first book in the Falconer Files series, Death of an Old Git, was a delightful surprise, filled with humor and wit, and I looked forward to reading this second book in the series. Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly as enjoyable. The plot of Choked Off follows the one in the first book exactly. The scene in a village filled with artistic residents is set, the villagers are introduced one by one, and some obnoxious soul whom everyone hated is killed off. In walk Falconer and Carmichael who proceed to interview all the villagers silly until the killer is uncovered. Way too much formula for my taste.

The humor that I enjoyed so much in the first book is lacking in the second, which was a huge letdown, although I was glad to see that good-natured Carmichael is coming into his own despite the grumblings of the fastidious Falconer. Falconer falls in love for the first time, and his experience in the romance department reminded me of the fate of so many heroes in the television shows I watched as a child. As for the killer... for readers who don't take everything-- and everyone-- at face value, the reveal will come as no surprise.

If I hadn't enjoyed the first book so much I might not have finished this one. I've seen this author's way with words, and I don't find all that many writers who can make me laugh out loud, so instead of continuing with the Falconer Files, I'm tempted to sample her other series in a quest to recapture that sparkle. ( )
  cathyskye | May 14, 2015 |
I haven't read any other books by Frazer, but after having read Choked Off, i certainly have added her name to my favorite author list! It is evidently part of series but i found it to be a great stand-alone.
In fact, because it IS one of several, i'd love to see it developed into a show on PBS. I read this book with a cuppa tea in hand and pinkie finger raised of course!

A mystery that takes place in the village of Stoney Cross. Delve into it with no expectations, no comparisons to others in the series, and i bet you'll be delighted. Not exactly a 'cozy', but not a James Patterson either...it's smack dab comfortably in the middle reading, that was thoroughly enjoyable!
  linda.marsheells | Aug 11, 2014 |
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The villagers of Stoney Cross were bustling about like hyperactive ants. In gardens, houses, and the village hall, figures flitted to and fro making last- minute preparations for their 'Great Event'. After four months of furious debate and power-struggling organisation, the first Stoney Cross Arts Festival was to commence on Saturday 5th September and last for two whole days. Posters were everywhere, promoting this rare rural treat, but a last-minute suggestion to enlist the aid of a local radio broadcaster to advertise, then review their efforts, added an extra frisson of excitement. The delight of some of those involved, however, soon turned to dismay when the broadcaster, Marcus Willoughby, actually moved into a house in Stoney Cross the day before the Festival, turning out to be someone from their past: someone whom they had hoped never to clap eyes on again, and who had greeted them with recogntion in his eyes. To those he had never met before, he proved to be a smarmy, spiteful bigot who proceeded to take great delight in verbally shredding their artistic efforts. When he was found dead at his desk, only a week after moving into his new home, his demise actually having been broadcast during his pre-recorded programme on Radio Carsfold, there were no crocodile tears shed. He had finally been 'choked off' in mid-flow. His arrival in the village had obviously caused a few guilty hearts to beat faster, and precipitated a few hasty confessions of dark deeds thought buried in the past. Into this welter of emotions was dispatched DI Harry Falconer, his trusty (?) acting detective sergeant, 'Davey' Carmichael, riding shotgun, as they entered 'bandit' country once more.… (more)

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