Verdict: OBITCHUARY is a near-perfect blend of sweet, tart, and salty. It's an excellent antidote to the stresses of everyday life, a perfect book to curl up with on the couch when the economy or politics have got you down.
Penny Perkins is a “mild-mannered” newspaper reporter, who is tired of reporting on the gardening club and the school lunch menus. So when a position opens up at her paper for a creative, in-depth obituary writer, someone who can really get to the heart of a person’s life, she applies, and gets the job. With her first piece, it becomes obvious that she has a real talent for it. But then her date for her cousin’s wedding goes horribly wrong, and she ends up braining him with a bottle of cheap wine in the parking lot of her housing complex. Losing her head, she tries to cover things up – but can she really handle writing the obituary piece for a man she killed? And when new evidence emerges that suggests she didn’t kill him after all, can she track down the one who did?
The story is told from Penny’s perspective, and her wry, snarky sense of humor really makes the tale. Her family is lovably and eccentrically entertaining, especially her “bad-girl” sister Nicole, for example with a flashback scene concerning a portion of Penny’s teen sex education, provided by Nicole. Her romance with appealingly nerdy co-worker Mark Connelly is unexpectedly touching, with a gentle warmth that builds throughout the book. The author has a gift for building her character, providing just the right details in the right place, so that despite eccentricities and stereotypes, all of the characters have a genuine depth to them. The murder mystery is a bit bizarre in places and relies on a string of coincidences that rather strains the imagination.
OBITCHUARY is a near-perfect blend of sweet, tart, and salty. It’s an excellent antidote to the stresses of everyday life, a perfect book to curl up with on the couch when the economy or politics have got you down.
Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader