Mad about the Boy?

Mad about the Boy? By Dolores Gordon-Smith. Sometimes when reading a book, your mind can easily translate the words on the page into vibrant images and it’s as if you’re watching a film in your head. Such is the case with this second entry in the series featuring 1920s mystery author and amateur sleuth Jack Haldean. Unfortunately, the film in my head was certainly not Oscar-worthy, but was instead an overly melodramatic, black-and-white, B-level creation with one-dimensional characters and banal dialogue. It even included a soundtrack that with sinister music whenever the murderer made an appearance, such was the obvious nature of the crime. The publisher might as well have put little red flags on each page whenever a clue was revealed.

Haldean is celebrating his aunt and uncle’s silver wedding anniversary at their English country estate and helping his friend, Arthur Stanton, recover from a case of shell shock developed during the Great War. Stanton’s situation only worsens as he is involved in a love triangle with Isabelle, Haldean’s cousin, and Malcolm Smith-Fennimore, a famous race car driver. It reaches its nadir when he is found standing over the murdered body of one of the party guests who also has mysterious ties with the Russian revolutionaries. Haldean and Isabelle work together to clear Stanton’s name and reveal the truth.

Given the plethora of other options, fans of this time period should skip this series entirely. Instead, I would recommend Rhys Bowen’s Lady Georgiana books, the early books in Barbara Cleverly’s excellent Joe Sandilands series, Carola Dunn’s light-hearted Daisy Darymple mysteries, Ron Goulart’s even more amusing Groucho Marx tales, and Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher Australian adventures.

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1 Response to “Mad about the Boy?”


  1. 1 Christina January 28, 2009 at 6:03 am

    That’s a funny review. Unfortunately, it doesn’t dissuade me from reading the book, but makes me want to read it for a good laugh.


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