by Emily Arsenault
Pub. Date: July 31, 2012
Book received from: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction/Mystery
Cover: It’s alright. It really does not represent the story well.
Characters: Still largely unknown by the end
Worth the read? Sure- if you want an easy mystery with a different kind of style.
Writer Gretchen Waters is found dead, in what is presumed to be an accident. However, as things unfold, it becomes clear that much more was going on in her life than she let anyone know. Soon, Gretchen’s friend and literary executer, Jamie is trying to piece together what really happened to Gretchen, but no without putting herself in danger as well.
There are parts of this book that are different and interesting to read, like the chapters that are excerpts from Gretchen’s writing about country music’s leading ladies. Through these, the reader is able to understand Gretchen in a way that no one in her life knew her. Also, the history of, and comparisons to, the women of country music were quiet telling and added a bit of fun and flavor to the otherwise mediocre story.
The mystery that unfolds throughout the story was also enough to keep me reading to the end to figure out what happened and why. It is laid out just slowly enough, and with enough twists, that it does keep one guessing in spots. However, I thought the writings of Gretchen actually provided more of the darker edge to the story that the actual reason she was murdered.
The rest of the story was sadly forgettable. Although we are following Jamie throughout, I never really felt connected to her in any way. There is little told about her that was not pertinent to the story, so her motives and drive were largely unknown. Also, the fact that Jamie is pregnant and putting herself in danger was supposed to lend an extra bit of suspense and depth, I’m sure, but that fact did little to help me connect with her further.
Although there were parts of the story that fell flat, the potential is evident. Arsenault does know how to slowly deliver a mystery- if possibly too slowly at times- and keep the reader wanting to know what happened. With the insertion of Gretchen’s writing excerpts, Miss Me When I’m Gone is a quiet mystery with a bit of sassy honky-tonk intertwined. This is for any country music fan, and for those looking for a different kind of delivery with their mystery.
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‘Miss Me When I’m Gone’ can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.
For more about Emily Arsenault, go to her website here.