Thicker Than Water: Things the plot of this book aren’t.

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!


One response to “Thicker Than Water: Things the plot of this book aren’t.

  1. I know it´s not wise to generalize but… I have noticed Aussies are never good at writing mystery novels. They´re great at YA dystopian novels, some of their poets are very good (Peter Porter comes to mind since I have quite a few of his collections) and Kate Grenville can do some good stuff (The Idea of Perfection, a novel which I loved) but mystery… oh no! I wonder why; maybe it does not come naturally to them.
    For every bad book out there, how many truly good authors undiscovered? I am baffled by some publishing houses´ picks.

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