Verdict: VENGEANCE IS MINE is an easy, breezy read that will capture the imagination of even the most dedicated murder mystery fans, with its ever-shifting perspectives, relatable main character, and in-depth understanding of just how many secrets the people of a small town can keep.
When a prestigious filmmaker is murdered during an annual Fourth of July concert, the patrons of the Chautauqua Institution are thrown into a blind panic. The police quickly arrest the victim’s long time stalker as the killer, but amateur detective Mimi Goldman’s suspicions aren’t so easily assuaged. Despite her ongoing wedding planning woes, she sets out on the trail of the shooter, determined to bring justice back to the Chautauqua Institution.
Mimi Goldman, the main character of the Mimi Goldman Chautauqua Murder Mysteries series, is a sports reporter, a “relentless snoop”, and a bride-to-be. She finds herself drawn into mysteries that the police can’t solve by her strong sense of justice. Her day job as a sports reporter—a job that’s filled with boring meetings and copy-editing reminders—gives her character a superhero sort of feel; by day she works a boring day job, but by night she strikes out on her own to solve crimes by outsmarting and outworking the local police department. Mimi is a fantasy that readers can easily fall into.
But despite her superhero tendencies, Mimi is also a very relatable character. She’s not just a wannabe detective, she’s also a mother, a fiancée, and a pillar of the community. She enlists her adult son for help on the case. She deals with drama from her sister, who believes she shouldn’t be involved in solving crime. She misses a dress-fitting appointment (or two, or three). She takes walks with her husband. When she gets too close to the truth, her vulnerability becomes apparent—and that’s what makes her easy to connect to as a reader.
The more Mimi snoops, the more treachery is revealed. VENGEANCE IS MINE is written in third person, which allows the narrative to follow different characters involved in the Chautauqua Institution shooting. In a small town where everyone has their secrets, the ever-shifting perspective keeps the mystery going. Just when one character’s motivations are revealed, another character behaves in a way that makes the reader question their innocence. Author Deb Pines keeps the reader (and Mimi Goldman herself) guessing all the way up to the climax of the story.
At only 262 pages, VENGEANCE IS MINE is a fast, easy read. Its characters are compelling, the mystery is filled with enough twists and turns to keep the reader hooked, and the author’s light writing style makes it easy to keep turning pages. Its non-complex nature makes it a great choice for mystery buffs that are looking for a casual way to spend an afternoon.
VENGEANCE IS MINE is an easy, breezy read that will capture the imagination of even the most dedicated murder mystery fans, with its ever-shifting perspectives, relatable main character, and in-depth understanding of just how many secrets the people of a small town can keep.
~Stephani Hren for IndieReader