Sunday, October 2, 2016

Review: Good Tidings

Good Tidings

by Terri Reid
Book 2 of Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.0 Stars

Black Friday–the official opening of the holiday shopping season–and Patrice Marcum is stuck in the middle of her local superstore with a crying infant, a near-hysterical desire to just abandon the diapers and milk she desperately needs, and the snowstorm of the century dumping half a foot of snow on the parking lot outside.  She needs a miracle.

The little old lady seems sweet, but there was no way Patrice was going to leave three-month-old Jeremy with a stranger.  She looks outside at the snow-covered parking lot and sees yet another distressed shopper’s cart topple over in the drifts.  The old lady senses her distress and volunteers to call a store employee to help watch over Jeremy while Patrice gets her car.  The older gentleman, wearing a store badge with the name “Ron,” seems too good to be true.  What could be safer?

Less than five minutes later, after brushing the snow off the van and driving across the crowded and snow-packed parking lot, Patrice pulls up in front of the store.  Jeremy is not there.  Pushing back panic, she rushes into the store and looks around.  Jeremy is not inside either.  She pushes through the line at Customer Service; the associate calls Ron on the intercom and issues a Code Adam.  When Ron appears and he’s only seventeen years old, Patrice realizes the worst.  “Oh God! They’ve taken my baby!”

Mary O’Reilly, private investigator, is decorating her office for the holiday season when the newly installed bell over her door jingles.  She looks over to see a six-year-old boy standing next to her desk.  His name is Joey Marcum and he wants to hire Mary to find his baby brother.
Mary nodded.  “Okay, Joey, but I’ll want to work with the police on this one.  Do you have any problems with that?”

Joey paused.  “No, I guess you can talk to them.”

“That’ll be helpful.”

“But you can’t tell my mom you’re working for me,” he said, “Promise?”

“Yes, I promise.”

Joey shrugged.  “I don’t think she’d understand, seeing that I’m dead, you know.”

The above quote is actually part of the summary blurb, taken from the book and inserted into the summary blurb.  Included into the blurb makes the entire thing a bit too long-winded for anyone's liking, to be honest.  I wouldn't be surprised if someone gave up on the book before they even finished reading the blurb.  But, to be honest, the book itself isn't too bad.

Two books, one author, three days.  It would probably only take about a day to read these short and cozy mysteries by Terri Reid, but I typically start off my reading day nearing the night (since I'm third shift and that's the time I'm awake) and then finish it sometime after the new day has come around.  I must say that these books are quite satisfying--at the very least, I'm turning pages wanting to know how the mystery is solved.

Of course, these ARE pretty short stories from what I'm used to reading, so I'm not surprised that I've been finishing them up so quickly.

The second book of the Mary O'Reilly paranormal mysteries takes our two main heroes all the way to Mary's home city of Chicago in an investigation of an infant snatching.  The deceased six year old big brother of the kidnapped infant is Mary's "client" this time; he is Joey Marcum who was able to remain by his family's side after death as his little brother's guardian angel.  In this case then, little Joey makes for a pretty good spy in finding out what's going on around his brother and the infant snatchers and what they're doing.

We also get some insight into Mary's near-death experience as well as learn more about Bradley Alden's past.  There's some forwarded romantic development as well as a lot of nice and warm moments among the O'Reilly family.

For starters, the writing style seems to be progressively getting better and better.  I'd chance to say that the author could still use some editing as I've caught a lot of consistent grammatical errors and awkward word usage.  But overall, just like the first book, it was a fun mystery experience.  Good Tidings, however, wasn't as good as the first one despite having a more refined format and I think there was a little too much being slopped together from the kidnapping case and then moving into a drug/murder conspiracy.  The transitioning felt a bit awkward, but it still managed to pull through.

What I'm loving about the Mary O'Reilly series so far is really the characters and their developments.  I love Stanley and Rosie with a passion--these two side characters are created as very witty, very loyal, yet brutally honest best friends to our heroine.  I also like seeing the few side ghostly story arcs that take place so that we know that Mary doesn't simply attract all the crazy encounters that lead her into murder cases, kidnapping cases, rape cases (can I use the word rape in these reviews?)... the like.  We see that there are some ghostly visitors who just have a simple unfinished matter that needs attending to and then they can move on and be at peace.

While I'm continuing to enjoy the series, I didn't quite care for this second book as much as I had enjoyed the first one.  And so here's hoping that the third one is just as gripping.

This review was originally posted at Goodreads in March 2012.

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