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Topic: Obstruction of Justice (vent)

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Subject: Obstruction of Justice (vent)
Date Posted: 8/25/2008 9:42 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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I have read two cozy mysteries in a row where the protagonist thought NOTHING of concealing evidence, removing evidence from a crime scene, or deliberately hiding evidence from the police-  Michelle Scott's first in the wine series and Kate Kingsbury's "A Bicycle Built for Murder". The thing that stumps me is I *like* Nikki from the Scott Series... Shes very "real" and fun. But I cringed when her character boasted about having solved a murder before the police when she was privvy to information the police didn't have and lied to them when interviewed!  Oh! and Worse!!! She is soooooo upset when the laborer is taken away for the murder and his children are going to be put in child protective services, BUT NOT ENOUGH TO TELL THE POLICE ALL THE INFORTMATION SHE HAS BEEN HOARDING THAT WOULD HELP CLEAR HIM AND KEEP HIS CHILDREN HOME. *pull hair*

Does this weak plot device get on anyone elses nerves? Its a relief to now be reading Maggie Sefton's "Needled to Death" since the heroine, Kelly, is honest and always tells everything she knows to the police and never removes anything from a crime scene.



Last Edited on: 8/25/08 9:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/25/2008 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
Posts: 2,911
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just wait- have you read all the Maggie Sefton ones? I love her stuff but it is so annoying about how much a big mouth Kelly is- she tells everyone in the yarn shop about everyone else's business and then says- oh dont tell- lol just a pet peeve of mine- she is on the other side of the tell police- she tells everything to Burt since he is retired cop and of course wants to know all that is going on as well

 

I have noticed this plot in many story lines, I read getting away is murder this weekend- I was loving it till the end- the last chapter was all hodge podge and it was all the info the sleuth didnt tell the police, of course she is pregnant and almost gets killed, so you would think she would tell someone- but hey would that sell any stories if the police knew everything- Another one that is famous for this is Joanne Fluke- her hannah swensen stories- I love them but she never tells the cops anything till the very end, right before she is almost killed by the killer

 

I am reading the first in the wine series as well- she has a horse lovers series that I really like- and so far I like the wine ones- I read the second out of order

Date Posted: 8/25/2008 11:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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The wine mysteries protagonist is very likeable. I thought giving Nikki "crows feet" made her accessible- you *know* shes a looker, but hearing that she has little imperfections like the rest of us makes her all the more "real".

I will avoid the Joanne Fluke mysteries if they are ALL written that way.

Yes, Kelly is a talker. But, I think most people would "spill" if they were an amateur sleuth? Not keep it all bottled up... especially if you had girlfriends!

When you finish the first Michelle Scott book, please p.m. me and tell me what you think, OK? I am very mixed on my opinion of this one.

Just something I have been noticing... I have a difficulty "suspending disbelief" when reading cozies, and it seems to be a requirement for reading them in many books. I am on another cozy forum, and it seems that every single book posted everyone LOVED. I hardly see a negative review about any single book. When I pipe in and mention glaring errors in editing, weak writing, or obstruction of justice, it seems to anger the rest of the group. I ams atrting to wonder if they are a reflection of the cozy audience at large since of the three forums I am on, I never see anyone displeased with a book they have read.

I think its taken for granted that all "cozy readers" are looking for light and that if the writing is sacrificed, thats OK. I personally am insulted by that! Just because I don't enjoy a graphic "who done it" doesn't mean I am gullible and will read any fluff out there if someone gets killed in it!

Date Posted: 8/25/2008 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
Posts: 2,911
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I like a well written cozy, I know there are some series that people just love and I just cant get into them- I know many people love MC Beaton- I cant get into her stuff,  I try and try and want to like it- but I dont

 

I think most people like cozies because they do obstruct justice, most story lines go the way of, the first one, you tell the police, they dont believe you so then you keep everything from them from then on out- Have you read any of the Miss Zukas stories? she is very very straightlaced and wouldnt keep anything from the police- It took me awhile to get used to the character, but I really like the stories.

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 8/25/2008 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,078
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  I'm with you on that one, Leslie.  I'm not afraid to say when I don't like a book, and I've been flamed it for it on another site I used to go to that had a book section!  So I took my cozies and went home! LOL  I told them flat out that a good story shouldn't have to sacrifice  editing, grammar and lazy plot lines to be a good mystery.   I don't like the obstruction of justice in some books either, and thought I was the only one!  Nice to know it bugs someone else :)

      I do like the M.C. Beaton' Hamish MacBeth mysteries, but i think it's an acquired taste, it can be dry and the humor, what there is of it, can be very droll.

   But there are other series I just haven't been able to get into no matter how hard I want to. Thankfully, there are so many mysteries, authors and cozy themes there is something for all of us!!

 

   I have read the Miss Zukas mysteries, and I like them. It did take a bit to get used to how straightlaced she is, but I love her honesty, although she really could do with a couple margaritas and hot night in Mexico  ;)



Last Edited on: 8/25/08 1:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/25/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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BTW Kim, I am pm'ing you about "Aunt Dimity Take a Holiday".  :-)

Date Posted: 8/25/2008 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
Posts: 2,911
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lol Kim- she and Wayne need some hot romance!

Date Posted: 8/25/2008 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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I frequently have this problem with a lot of modern cozies, Leslie, and I also get frustrated when the protagonist just happens to be at the right place at the right time to witness something that basically solves the mystery without the need for any actual detection.  I think this is why I tend to prefer mysteries where the sleuth is police or a PI, such as the Hamish Macbeth series.  But, as my grandmother used to say, that's why they have chocolate and vanilla!

Date Posted: 8/25/2008 11:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,593
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Yes, that's a frustrating aspect of many cozies for me as well. I may like the characters--even love them to death--but I'd love to slap them upside the head and shout, "Are you just STUPID or what??" How do these people not end up in jail with all their concealing evidence, not being truthful in police interviews, and as you say, sometimes out and out deliberately obstructing justice?? The author uses this device to paint the protagonist as a bit of a "bad girl" a "rebel" or "non-conformist" or whatever, but in reality they're just....lawbreakers. And stupid ones, at that. You can be different without being in contempt of court, can't you? Where oh where is Miss Marple when you need her? :)

Cheryl

 

Date Posted: 8/26/2008 7:18 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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Yes!  I just finished Kate Kingsbury's first in the Manor House series, and in this book we have a very intelligent, reserved, and law obiding lady who decides that since the policeman are older and do not really like that they have been lasso'ed into being the local constables while the younger men serve in WWII, she will conceal evidence, remove evidence, etc, because she just doesn't trust the retired policemen to solve the mystery.  ARGH!!!

And *of course*, while these protagonists run around lying and hiding evidence from a crime scene investigation, all their friends are saying things like "Please promise me ____ that you will not interfere or poke your nose into this murder! You are going to get killed one day!".

Hmmm... the "bad girl" scenerio probably fits a couple I have recently read, and you are right, Cherly, it doesn't make them seem hip or cool, it makes them seem stuuupid.

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 9/6/2008 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,078
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Ugh, I just finished Melissa Glazer's " A Murderous Glaze" and it was totally like that! Do these authors follow a form or something? She hides evidence, thinks the Sherrif is an idiot and decides to investigate herself, and oh, yeah, almost gets herself killed!  After promising family and friends she's going to be careful!  You pegged that on the nose, Leslie!     One more author I won't be reading again .

 

Date Posted: 9/6/2008 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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Was this the first in the series, Kim? I just finished up the second Manor House mystery, and have to say that while Lizzie still withheld evidence, this time the plotline made so much more sense- only Lizzie suspected that a disabled young adult had commited the crime, and she kept the evidence to herself because she was afraid of what would happen to him *if she was wrong*. Now that I could handle. 

I am also reading rhe second in Michele Scott's wine lover series. I adore Nikki! She is a great character. There is a line in it when she contemplates her own backfat that had me laughing since she is above 30 like me and all sorts of new fat worries come with the age of 30 (hmpfh). I am so hoping that in the second in this series the author also gives a more plausible explanation for obstruction of justice than "The cops are stuupid" since she has already had Nikki say how intelligent the officer in charge is this time.  I love this character, and REALLY don't want her to cop (pardon the pun) another bad attitude.

P.S. I just finished the first Miss Zukas and she totally conceals evidence because she takes offense to the officer in charge implying he has more experience and knowledge than Helma has in investigating murders (because Helma believes anything she wants to study, she can become an expert on). Her best friend Ruth even says  to Helma that its not like her to lie this way. Well, without giving away the story, it totally comes back to bite Miss Zukas on the behind and I have a feeling in subsequent books she will be more willing to cooperate with the autherities.

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 9/6/2008 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,078
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Yes, Leslie, this was the first in the series. I wasn't a big fan of any of the characters, they  were not very interesting, and Carolyn, the protagonist, was quite the snippy  thing at times. I didn't like how she spoke to people, especially her husband, and she was't all that likeable.  Melissa Glazer is a pseudonym for Tim Myers, whose Candleshop Mysteries I really enjoy. But  wont' be reading any more of Glazer's books, they didn't do it for me.  

    I don't mind when they withhold evidence for a "good reason" but she was convinced from the first page of the book that the Sherrif was incompetent because he'd blamed her son "years before" for an act of vandalism.  It just all rang false to me.  I'm glad I got it at the library and didn't spend a credit on it!

Date Posted: 9/7/2008 7:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,593
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Thanks for warning about Melissa Glazer being Tim Myers, Kim. I didn't know that and had actually thought about acquiring A Murderous Glaze. I have tried both of Myers crafy series--the candlemaking and soapmaking ones--and while I did make it through the first candlemaking one, I wasn't interested enough to carry on in the series and I couldn't even finish the first soapmaking book. (I'm a soapmaker myself so thought it would be interesting.....not so much! LOL) He also does a series about lighthouses, I think, but I've just steered clear of anything else by him.

Cheryl

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 9/7/2008 7:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,078
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 I didn't like the soap ones, either, Cheryl! I did manage to finish the first one but just barely. And I did like the first Lighthouse one, it was pretty good and was written more in the style of the Candleshop ones. But I won't be wasting credits or time on the others!   He's also listed as writing Card Making mysteries under the name Elizabeth Bright. I haven't read any of those yet.