DEATH BY DIDGERIDOO
SERIES: Jamie Quinn Mystery #1
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Cozy Mystery
It’s been two months since Dr. Janet Watson accepted an offer from Georgetown University Hospital. The training for her new high-tech arm is taking longer than expected, however, leaving her in limbo. Meanwhile, her brilliant friend and compatriot, Sara Holmes, has been placed on leave–punishment for going rogue during their previous adventure. Neither is taking their situation very well.
Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It’s up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it’s too late. It doesn’t help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn’t commit.
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the author in return for an honest review.
Death by Didgeridoo is the first book in the Jamie Quinn Mystery series. This mystery was a little bit different for me: I usually go for cozies where the protagonist is some kind of lay-person e.g. a bookseller or baker — something unrelated to law enforcement itself. In this series, although she doesn’t deal with a lot of criminal law, Jamie is, in fact, a lawyer, so this book was a little bit more procedural than I’m used to. I wouldn’t class it as an actual procedural story though, because it does follow more of a cozy vibe overall.
Sometimes my criticism of cozy books can be that they follow more of the personal life of the sleuth than the mystery itself (see my review of Leslie Meyer’s Mistletoe Murders for a rage-filled example of this). That wasn’t the case in Death by Didgeridoo. It’s a very short book (even for a cozy), and I’m not sure whether that plays a part, but there’s actually very little of Jamie’s personal life in this book (although she does have a personal connection to the primary suspect, who is her nephew). I actually really liked this, as it was a change, but it did mean that I didn’t feel the same connection to Jamie and the other characters as I have with other amateur sleuths.
Perhaps because of her profession, Jamie seems more focused and than most cozy protagonists. She goes through the investigation — interrogating one witness to another, looking up private eyes etc. — without really any stops in-between. It might have been nice if the investigation was less seat-of-your-pants and interspersed with some scenes of Jamie’s homelife or her other interests. That way we could have really got to know her personality but for some people the focus on the case is going to be a real strength of this book. If you’re the kind of person who gets frustrated when the sleuth doesn’t actually do any investigating until the last couple of seconds, then the Jamie Quinn series definitely might be for you. It has just a hint of procedural in it, without going too far over into the legal thriller side of things.
Overall this was a great start to series, the book was well-written and relatively short so it’s definitely an easy read and an enjoyable introduction to the characters.