Shoofly Pie by Tim Downs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Well, I've done it. Now I can say that I have read all of Tim Downs' fiction works. Of all the authors I have experienced, Downs is the first author who's complete set of (published) works I have read.
Shoofly Pie was good, and I enjoyed it. However, style-wise and character-wise, Downs' style has improved a lot since he wrote this book, which is his first.
Nick wasn't as likeable. He was more annoying, almost more blase. The dialogue didn't have quite the wit and punch that I've come to expect from Downs' works, and the narrative felt "heavier" and didn't always flow quite as smoothly.
The plot and technicalities were still up to the author's par. Forsensic details were strong as usual, and he added an interesting twist with a "bee beard"; he had a nice setup and payoff with that little bit.
I figured out "whodunit" pretty early on in the story, yet red herrings, additional motives, details, doubts, etc. kept it interesting until the last page. A little slower than most of his other books, but it's much, much better than my first book, so I'm not complaining.
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[cross-posted from my Good Reads account]