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Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud

The Body in the Belfry - Katherine Hall Page Rating: 2.5* of five The Book Description: During her years spent in New York City. Faith Fairchild was convinced she had seen pretty much everything. But the transplanted caterer/minister's wife was unprepared for the surprises awaiting her in the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford. And she is especially taken aback by the dead body of a pretty young thing she discovers stashed in the church's belfry. The victim, Cindy Shepherd. was well-known locally for her acid tongue and her jilted beaux, which created a lot of bad blood and more than a few possible perpetrators — including her luckless fiance, who had neither an alibi nor a better way to break off the engagement. Faith thinks it's terribly unfair that the police have zeroed in on the hapless boyfriend, and so she sets out to uncover the truth. But digging too deeply into the sordid secrets of a small New England village tends to make the natives nervous. And an overly curious big city lady can become just another small town death statistic in very short order. My Review: BAD First Mystery Novel Syndrome: Introduce characters that Central Casting would find rich and nuanced, but the Experienced Mysterian finds barely three-dimensional.Then kill people that have blindingly obvious connections to each other, and to a cast of interchangeable Cozy Village Populators. Extra points (off) for including ancestor worshiping elders in a New England setting as major plot movers. Throw in a white cop from the Bronx as a detective with a Noo Yawk attitude. Ugh.Describe your sleuth and her family with phrases so stock as to cause the Experienced Mysterian to make a mental police-artist drawing with attendant level of accuracy.Set your story in a small New England stereotype of a town during the fall and have the transplanted New Yorker sleuth comment on the scenery and the weather without the slightest hint of fresh observation or even any believable motivation for her to so much as notice them.Reveal the killer in such a way as to cause maximum snorts of derision and impatient huffing. The killer's identity was, I admit, not a standard choice, and so this first novel got an extra half star.It's the first novel of NINETEEN in the series to date. If my very, very, very favorite porn star slipped into bed next to me, whispered disgusting and salacious suggestions of what he'd like me to do to him, and then said I had to read the second in the series before I was allowed to, I'd read the next one.Otherwise, no. I have Ambien for sleeplessness, and while not as effective as this book in conkin' me out, it hurts less.