I’m a fan of reading light books sometimes. They’re a great way to relieve stress and forget about the world for awhile. There is a certain level of disbelief you suspend and just get sucked into the world created by an author. With Ring Around the Rosy by Jackie Fullterton, I was somewhat challenged to do this.
Ring Around the Rosy is a mystery novel with Anne Marshall as the amateur detective who stumbles onto a murder while on vacation with her fiance at his parents’ retirement community. I’m all good with that. The part where it veers from the standard mystery novel is that Anne is helped in her mystery solving by her dead father’s ghost. He appears to her and talks to her and smokes his pipe that others can smell, although no one but her can see or hear him. It was definitely different, and I’m still not sure yet quite how I feel about this departure from the norm.
Additionally, unlike most traditional mystery novels, we know who the murderer is by the second page of the book. Carl Martin is a disturbed man who is being manipulated by his “friend” Jeremiah to murder the last of a family’s line. Rather than solve the mystery of who-done-it and have that be the focus of the book, the book focuses more on the psychology and interaction amongst the characters from Carl and Jeremiah to Anne with Jason her fiance and Don Reynolds, the detective heading up the case.
Ring Around the Rosy is the third book in the Anne Marshall series. I’ve read only this installment, and it feels to me like this book is simply a chapter of a larger work rather than being complete on its own. The implausibility of Anne Marshall stumbling onto so many murders and solving them aside – after all, what amateur detective hero doesn’t? – there is so much focus in the book on aspects that aren’t central to the murder that aren’t wrapped up in the end from the planning of Jason and Anne’s wedding two years hence to the attraction Anne feels towards Don Reynolds to the involvement of Anne’s dad in her life and more.
I think this book is much better read in conjunction with the first two from the series rather than on its own. Once you get into this world and are able to see it through more, I sense that it will fit better. The addition of the ghost of Anne’s father was the one part that really threw me for a loop beyond the usual suspension of disbelief into raised eyebrows. Aside from that, I enjoyed the psychology of knowing the murderer’s side of the story and without there being a false “who is it” trying to lead the reader down the wrong path. It was refreshing to not feel see-sawed by the book in that sense.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of “Ring Around the Rosy” for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated, and all opinions remain my own.
Written by Michelle who is glad that she has never stumbled across a murder. See what she is stumbling over in her life as she shares her mishaps on her blog Honest & Truly! or via Twitter where she is also @HonestAndTruly.