Thicker than Water is the third Kit O’Malley mystery novel. They’re written by a woman named Lindy Cameron, set in Melbourne, Australia and are not good. I know, because I’ve read all three. I was introduced to them by…I don’t remember, either Afterellen or NoveList. The books usually take forever to arrive in Canada, I don’t know if this is because Bywater sucks at releasing books or the library sucks at getting them, but damn.
The heroine, Kit, is a Melbourne based P.I. who stumbles upon murders all the time and then solves them. While doing so she also deals with her quirky!mom, zany!sidekicks and struggles to start a relationship with Alex Cazenove, a smokin’ attorney or some such nonsense. Oh, p.s. this book is leftover from GLBT February and Kit is a lesbian. Which doesn’t excuse the ridiculous plot, character piled on top of character and incredibly annoying habit Kit has of relating everything to Xena: Warrior Princess. Also having really involved conversations with herself.
The central mystery of the story involves the discovery of the body of a Melbourne gangster at Angie’s bar. Angie is a friend of Kit, the body is, as I mentioned, a high-ranking member of an Melbourne crime family run by (no kidding) Queenie Riley. Who’s a lady. An old lady. Which, maybe I don’t know anything about crime, criminals or Australia but OLD LADY CRIME LORDS seem pretty unlikely. Naturally she is quirky! There are also cops of differing degrees of cordiality, more criminals, eccentric pals, problems with a sham marriage and immigration agents and god, a serial killer who has a key role in the denouement.
This is the second P.I. based mystery novel I have read in a month. As much as I didn’t like The Maltese Falcon I kept wishing this bad boy (or girl as the case may be) would take a page from old D.H. and shut the hell up for five seconds. O’Malley rambles to herself, to friends, to strangers, to her cat. It’s almost impossible to convey how annoying it is. These sidebars rip you from the story, confuse you about what the hell is taking place and drives the suspense down from somewhere about “history exam” to “The Brave Little Toaster.” Every other character in the story is either quirky, stupid or on the make. Except Alex, who’s barely a character at all, just set of clichés. I’m not sure what Lindy Cameron does with herself besides write these books, but I’m willing to bet what she wants to do is P.I. all over Melbourne with a beautiful dame at her side.
Two shrimps on the barbie!