Alice Soon

My Literary Life & other obsessions…

Book Review: THE SEDUCTION OF MIRIAM CROSS (Mystery/Thriller)

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I’m thrilled to have received an advance reading copy of this book. Thank you E-LIT BOOKS! I especially enjoy reading mysteries when I need a break from the more cerebral, mind-numbing literary books I usually read (yes, Faulkner & Woolf, I’m talking about you!) and this is a good one.

A sophisticated, sinister, and complex mystery filled with an engrossing array of unique characters and shocking plot twists. DO NOT read this book if you value your sleep! It will keep you up at night, wondering what will happen next.
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Tyson has conjured a well-written, intricately plotted and suspenseful novel that deserves to sit along the shelves beside many of the world’s great ‘heavyweight’ mystery writers. In fact, I have read several ‘name brand” mystery/crime novels this year from some of the BIG names of the genre (I shall not mention their names here), which do not even compare to this book. That’s right, I said it. Many of these types of “best-selling’ books have become predictable with their stock characters and easily identifiable culprit (if I can figure out who did it by Chapter Two, I’m not interested).

Contrast these sentiments with THE SEDUCTION OF MIRIAM CROSS, which features, among other things, a bevy of spunky, intelligent female investigators working at the Delilah Percy Powers Detective Agency. Tyson’s taut writing takes us on a captivating journey through the life of the famous, but eccentric and mysterious author, Miriam Cross who has been brutally murdered. As Delilah’s team investigates the death of this notable figure, they become embroiled in a much larger, dangerous scheme while uncovering the unsavory details of Miriam’s hidden life, inadvertently exposing them to a world of corruption, conspiracy, depravity and greed they hadn’t bargained for.

Moving at a breakneck pace, Tyson’s taut writing has an uncanny ability to drive the plot forward. In a way, it reminds me of a cross between THE DA VINCI CODE (for conspiracies & secret societies)/MURDER SHE WROTE (Female writers and female investigators)/CHARLIE’S ANGELS (strong, powerful women, minus the addition of Charlie.) 🙂

However, the best part about this novel is that it’s ultimately a book with a social message & social conscience. Tyson actually has something to say. And as the plot unravels, the reader will discover that this ‘something’ is a very important topic affecting many parts of the world. In this vein, the book reminds me of John le Carré’s thriller, THE CONSTANT GARDENER. There is a sense of the greater world issues which surrounds the writing and makes the reader feel like a global citizen of the world, not just a cute mystery about who put poison inside the baker’s apple pie!  (Not that there is anything wrong with fun mysteries; this book just isn’t one of them.)

The only part I felt was missing was a sense of Miriam’s inner life. Yes, the ending makes mention of her prior weaknesses or even of her wanting to release her sense of control, but as a reader, I would’ve liked to delve deeper into the psychology of the victim and understand why Miriam did some of the things she did. True, this can be difficult when the victim is dead, but these notions could’ve been revealed possibly through the perspective of other secondary characters. We only get a small glimpse into Miriam’s dark life and I personally, just wanted more about her life & background that lead Miriam to her untimely end.

Overall, fantastic job by Tyson and I look forward to reading her forthcoming books! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wendy Tyson wrote her first story at age eight and it’s been love ever since. When not writing, Wendy enjoys reading other people’s novels, traveling, hiking, and playing hooky at the beach–and if she can combine all four, even better. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her roots and lives there again with her husband, three kids and two muses, dogs Molly and Driggs. She and her husband are passionate organic gardeners and have turned their small urban lot into a micro farm.
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Find Wendy here: http://www.WATyson.com and on twitter (www.twitter.com/wendytyson) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/wendytysonauthor).

Links to purchase the book: http://www.e-litbooks.com/

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