8 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
DreamSE22 reviewed The Hydrogen Murder (Periodic Table, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 9
I LOVED this book! I really enjoy these types of cozy mysteries, if that's the sub-genre this falls into. I loved Gloria's character and the intelligent plot versus the silly and annoying characters who are cooks, gardeners, wedding planners, etc in other cozy series'. This was a fun, leisure read and I sped through it in just a few hours. I have already ordered the next book in the series from this website.
When physicist Eric Bensin is murdered in his suburban Boston laboratory, scientist-turned-crime-consultant Gloria Lamerino is called in to investigate. A former colleague of the victim,her understanding of Bensen's breakthrough research on hydrogen and superconductivity convinces the police detective and almost beau Matt Gennaro tha this is a high-stakes crime with no shortage of suspects.
An interesting read...I enjoyed the parts dealing with her return to her hometown almost as much as I did the scientific part of the writing.
I decided against finishing this book. I like the concept, but in execution the writing is plodding and the characters aren't very interesting. I may give a later book in the series a try, because The Hydrogen Murder is the author's very first novel after a career as a physicist (=scientific writer.) The book jacket carries a rave review by Janet Evanovich, but this only reminded me that even during a "quiet" moment in Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels the wacky characters and humor take over. Later books by Camille Minichino may be better.
Matt N. reviewed The Hydrogen Murder (Periodic Table, Bk 1) on
Interesting murder mystery with an exciting ending. She integrated some science into the the novel, though I was hoping for considerably more. As far as a murder mystery goes, I would call it only average.
1st in series; Penny Warner, author of the Connor Westphal Series
"Witty physicist Gloria Lamerino provides fascinating insight into the mysteries of science. Minichino had better write faster-readers won't be satisfied until she's covered the entire periodic table." --
From back cover: "...Eric Bensen is murdered in his suburban Boston Lab...Gloria is called in to help investigate." Old friends, new loves....good series start!
Minichino has come up with what should be an interesting protagonist - a female scientist who defied her mother and made it into the field at a time when women were definitely not encouraged to do such things. And yet, I found her dull. I think Gloria's lack of self-confidence was off-putting. Written in first person POV, Gloria talks about this, but I felt like if she had enough gumption to make it into a hard science career in the 1960s, she should have been tougher. She's 55 in this book and still doesn't stand up for herself very well (wonder if Minichino has her work on this in later novels?). The character explains the science really well, and the murder motive was good, but somehow this book just didn't have any spark for me.
This is the first book in the Period Table mystery series by Minichino. There are eight books in this series and all have been released. This was a bit of a different type of book from my normal fare, being purely a mystery with a scientific bent to it. I ended up enjoying it. I liked the heroine and her background as an ex-research scientist was interesting.
This is one of the few books I have read where the heroine is an older woman (in her upper 50's). If I am going to be honest here...I had some trouble relating and engaging with her because of her age. She just seemed a lot older than her mid to upper 50's in the story. Additionally she is supposed to be a strong and forward thinking heroine but given the age of the book her idea of forward-thinking was pretty weak.
This book is also very dated. In the story the super modern technology are things like cordless phones, additionally computers are just entering the scene..
The mystery is okay but fairly predictable. I think the most enjoyable parts for me were following some of the activities the heroine undertook in her post-retirement time. She does talks for schools about science and helps the police department solve cases with a scientific twist to them.
Overall, although I enjoyed this I don't plan on reading more books in the series. I did enjoy the science themed mystery but the older heroine paired with the dated aspects of the story made it hard for me to engage with both the characters and the story. This book just does not age well given all the advances that have been made in technology in the last 20 years.