Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Party Planner Reading List

I watch David Tutera's Party Planner when I catch it on the Travel Channel and one episode I've seen a few times is the party for the launch of Carol Higgins Clark's new (at that time - 2004, I think) novel "Burned". I'd never read Carol Higgins Clark in the past although I had her mother, Mary Higgins Clark. Anyway, it was an interesting episode because Carol provided two young nephews of hers to assist in the party prep and they just mostly got in the way (at least, the way the show was edited, it seemed that way). So, since then I'd been wanting to read one of Carol's books, but never remembered to get hold of one when I had the chance - until last Sunday. I was at Book Nook and getting high at all the cheap secondhand books when the title just jumped out at me from the shelf. So, to stop me from putting in lots of uninteresting details, you should just know that I have a copy of "Burned" in my possession now.

I'm a big whodunit fan, but have mostly been following Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries. When I started reading "Burned", I thought it was too light. I couldn't help but compare the two writers, of course, and I suppose I've just been so used to a more snarky style of narration with a protagonist who is harder, more complex, and have more personal issues. Many times while reading the first few chapters, I thought it felt too much like reading Nancy Drew, albeit the case files. But then, as I got deeper into the story and more characters were revealed, it really did get better. Regan Reilly even got edgier and snarky-ish, even if just in her thoughts. Anyway, the first chapters were mostly about her fiancé and family, so you can understand why Regan read like Elizabeth Wakefield. As soon as suspicious characters came along, she began producing snide little thought bubbles. Btw, I don't think I encountered a cuss word in the entire novel, which is nice. I remember reading somewhere that Mary Higgins Clark is religious, so perhaps her daughter is the same and this is the reason why dirty words don't figure into her stories, at least, this story. Um, I hope you're not expecting a rating. I don't give ratings or critiques because I don't know the first thing about it. I just write about how a book affects me and it doesn't have anything to do with anyone else. So, I think I would like to read some more Carol Higgins Clark is all I can say.

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