When I reviewed the first book in this series “The Case Of The Not-So-Fair Trader”, it had the advantage of being new and fresh, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt.
I expected Jim Stevens to get into his stride in the second book. Instead, he plodded in the footsteps he laid down in the first book.
We have another rich, greedy, dysfunctional family to sneer at. We have “nice-but-scatty” rich-princess, Tiffany to add color and feed Richard Sherlock lines. We have Sherlock’s young daughters, dragged around after him to provide light relief, make him seem more interesting and explain parts of the plot. We have Richard Sherlock, staggering around clueless, collecting information and apparently lost jewelry, until he stumbles over the answer to the puzzle.
The plot is so thin, it may as well not be there. The characters have all the authenticity of a Looney Tunes cartoon. The writing is dialogue strung together with as little intervening text as possible.
Which would all be fine if it had made me laugh.
It reminded me of one of those tired and, to me, mystifyingly popular, sitcoms that stagger through the same plot every week. I could hear when the canned laughter would have been cued but I could barely raise a smile.
I’m sure there are people who will love this book. I’m just not one of them. Even though the next book has the alluringly alliterative title of “Tiffany’s Epiphany”, it won’t be being added to my To Be Read pile.