Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review: Final Notice


When Helma's Aunt Em arrived in Washington for a visit Helma is expecting the staid, responsible woman who was Helma's role model. Instead, she finds a woman who likes to kick back and have a good time. Aunt Em is recovering from a brain injury and her memory has suffered its effects. She brings numerous odd artifacts with her, things from her past whose meaning is a mystery. As Aunt Em starts remembering Helma stands to learn a great deal about her aunt's past, and a dangerous mystery is uncovered.

Helma is her usual irritating self in this novel. It's still unclear to me why the police chief puts up with her unwillingness to commit, though a relationship in which the female half is the commitment-phobe is certainly a refreshing change. The part of the book I found most problematic was the new age chief librarian, Moonbeam's color-personality test. The library staff are required to take it- if they refuse Moonbeam will answer the questions for them. Now, I happen to live in the area where the Miss Zukas mysteries are set. This region is full of people who would be all over a color-aura-personality management scheme. What doesn't make sense is the library director answering questions for people. Perhaps this is a sign that I've lived here too long, if I'm irritated that it doesn't follow the rules of hippie logic. Whatever. In any case, there's nothing out there quite like the Miss Zukas series. Anyone who enjoys quirky, cozy mysteries should give this a try.

Jo Dereske, Final Notice (Avon, 1998) ISBN:0380782456 

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