2007: 112. Missing Joseph

“Cappuccino.  That’s the new age answer to driving one’s blues momentarily away.  A few tablespoons of espresso, a froth of steamed milk, an accompanying and generally tasteless dash of powdered chocolate and suddenly life was supposed to be all in order again.  What drivel.”

Missing Joseph, Elizabeth George

This is a perfectly serviceable mystery.  It’s the first George I have read and I enjoyed it in a perfectly escapist way.  The mystery itself was well done - sufficiently interesting and believable (a more difficult combination than good mystery writers get credit for!), and the ending satisfying while still realizing the graveness of what had happened.  My beef with the book was the detective.  Now, granted, I have busted into this series in the middle (or, who knows, maybe the end!), but the personal lives of the detective and his medical examiner assistant seem exceedingly complicated.  As far as I can tell, the medical examiner has married a girl that he raised from childhood, who had an affair with the detective and aborted the detective’s baby and is now herself infertile.  And a car crash was also involved in some way.  Moreover the detective (who is, surprise surprise, secretly titled - aren’t there any aristocrats in England who don’t solve crime?)* is dating an old friend who he wants to love and marry and put aside his play girl ways, and she is waffling for some mysterious reason that has to do with the fact that he put his tie on the door knob.  I mean, perhaps if I had read the whole series this would all be delightful character development, but I found it a bit much.  

Recommend for: Mystery fans who can either ignore or stomach goofy personal lives of their detectives...

* I mean, everyone knows that I am a Lord Peter fangirl, but come on.

Date/Place Completed: 7/21/07; D.C.

Categories: Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017