Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Leave No Stone Unturned (A Lexie Starr Mystery, Book 1) by Jeanne Glidewell

Leave No Stone Unturned (A Lexie Starr Mystery, Book 1), Jeanne Glidewell.  New Freedom, PA.: ABN Leadership Group, Inc, dba ePublishing Works!, 2013.  224 pps.

Very fast-paced. Lexie Starr and Stone Van Patten are likeable enough characters. Harriet rocked! 

A few small mistakes:
1. People not using an Adirondack trail or even animal path or footpath due to stinging nettles is not realistic. Folks around here are far more rugged than that. Better reason not to use a trail much might be because the ADKers have convinced people that trails not leading up to one of the high peaks aren't worthwhile. Another might be that only or mostly locals hike there.

2. Schizophrenia the word is derived from a word meaning "split brain" however schizophrenia the condition is entirely separate from having "multiple personalities".

3. The best social engineering would not get a stranger in to see Wanda.

4. If it was described as intensive supportive apartments with staff on-site (with their own apartment 'office') that would have been more believable and in line with the residential services available "10 miles south of Schenectady" than a "home for the mentally ill."

5. Said intensive supportive apartments could have been placed in Albany and been realistic there (as the first Albany exit is approximately 10 miles from the Schenectady exit on 90 South.

6. Wanda's actions could also have been those of a schizophrenic woman who was elderly AND now also suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's. Her placement in an apartment for the elderly with on-site staff supervision would have fit then. Think: Kingsway Arms off of the Crosstown (route 7 east in Schenectady) would have been believable.

7. NYS is full of democratic politicians who prefer the labels "mental health challenges" or " behavioral disorders/health" to the more direct words "mentally ill". Services in NYS have not referenced the words "mentally ill" here in several decades.

8. I'm fairly sure that New York State hasn't had a death penalty in years.

9. Schenectady has been a dirty city for many years. This holds true of the Upper Union Street area as well as the slummier sections of town. Actually, I was amused at Schenectady being described as a clean city. The resident insect is the cockroach.

Not a mistake but an observation: Lexie uses some 12 step specific jargon throughout the book along with a few Christian phrases. Since the useage is marked, it would be believable for Lexie to be an out of the closet Christian in recovery from alcoholism. She could be a member of either AA or Overcomers Anonymous in good standing. Stone, being a Christian southern gentleman would either not drink because of his religious beliefs or in solidarity with Lexie's desire to stay sober.

If the author didn't mean for Lexie or Stone to be Christian, then the recovery jargon and religious expressions should be omitted in future books.

Good points: 
*Very little cursing.
*Suitable for use by adults in literacy programs.
*If a teen or a child get a hold of this book, their parents don't have to shudder in horror.
*No poorly written sex scenes in this book-- no sex scenes at all.
*An absence of zombies, the paranormal, and dark urban atmosphere.
*The characters were interesting and seemed like folks I've met.

A personal note of thanks to the author for promoting organ donation. I am glad you have survived your ordeal and are now thriving.

sapphoq reviews says: If you like urban fantasy and dark stuff, then this one is not for you. But if you want a wholesome mystery book with some laughs and surprises, then yeah, get this book. But don't rely on it to tell you anything real about Schenectady New York or even about the Adirondacks for that matter. Recommended with a few reservations.

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