This week's review: What the Lady Wants by Jennifer Crusie.
Yes, another Crusie selection. It’s been a Jennifer Crusie month, what can I say? This book was one of her earlier works (copyright in my edition said 1995) and while I’d say her newer stuff is a little more riveting, it was still a fun read.
Mitch is posing as a private detective after making a bet with his stockbroker peers that he could run a PI Agency into the black in less than a year. His last week on the bet, it’s not looking good for him. Until Mae walks in dressed to the nines and hires him to find the missing diary of an uncle who died of a heart attack, but she insists was murdered (mostly to garner enough attention so he’ll take her case). The story is a whodunnit with a hot attraction mixed in. Mae’s surviving relatives are mob-wannabes and it seems pretty much everybody wanted this particular scheming, swindling uncle dead. The plot is cute, with excellent dialogue. I’d love to come across a Mitch, a man willing to face down multiple cut-throat male relatives for the woman he loves.
It took me some time to read this book on my Sony Reader (6 weeks!). Not because of the writing, but because of the formatting. It seems to be a print book the publisher decided to send out in ebook form as an afterthought. I’m glad it was available, I just wish all publishers would “get” that certain things need to be done to a file in order to make it into an ebook. Once a reader changes their font size, if the file isn’t properly formatted, paragraphs virtually fall apart. The dialogue tag from one character gets moved to the next paragraph, which is the next character’s dialogue. A page gets cut off with only 1 ½ lines of text on it. Or in the middle of a sentence, a paragraph breaks. This makes for very difficult reading. And while the file looks fine in the smallest typeface, publishers really need to plan for the adjusted sizes (just let them try to read a page in the smallest font!). For example, when going from print to ebook, page breaks need to be removed except for at the end of chapters (whereas in a to-print file, the page breaks are all specified).
The book itself, I give a Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck - Well worth your time and money. Pass it on to someone who’ll enjoy it and keep the author on your radar. Crusie just keeps getting better, and she was something to write home about from the start. I’m a fan.