Monday, October 8, 2012

Marvelous Michigan Month: A Cold Day in Paradise

Welcome to my Marvelous Michigan Month!  Today I would like to tell you about an adult book, which I listened to on CD.  It is A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton, a mystery novel set in a little town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Michigan connections: Mr. Hamilton is a Detroit native (currently living in New York state), and the book - as with most of the series it kicked off - is set in Paradise, Michigan.

"A" points to Paradise. Screenshot of Google Maps.

Checkouts, charter school: no checkouts of the paperback yet
Checkouts, school/public: 28 audio, 80 physical
Series checkouts, school/public: Too many, don't ask. LOL
Typical reader: Adult mystery lovers, adults looking for local fiction
Source: School/public library

Synopsis: Former Detroit police officer Alex McKnight has settled into a quiet life in a cozy cabin in the woods near Paradise, Michigan, but a lawyer friend in the Soo (Sault Ste. Marie) talks him into becoming a private investigator.  That isn't so bad, until it gets McKnight involved in a series of murders in the area that have more than just a little reminder of why he retired.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars

A coworker strongly recommended this book, and it's hard to escape the fact that this is an incredibly popular series around here.  If I were to focus instead on adult patrons and what they read, I'd have to include this.  The Alex McKnight series currently includes nine books, all of which circulate heavily.  And it's like that all across the U.P.  I'm sure my middle school students will start checking it out later this school year, when they need Michigan-related books to write reports on.

That said, I have mixed feelings about this book.  The first half was good, and I began to think that maybe there are mystery novels out there that I might actually enjoy.  But then it began to drag, and I thought the mystery was solved with two CDs left to go.  I was wrong, but still.  While having the protagonist of a mystery be someone actually capable of solving crimes is something that makes a mystery novel more tolerable, McKnight was still making stupid mistakes.  That irritated me.

The audio version of this is quite enjoyable.  Dan John Miller, the reader, offers a good mixture of tones and accents.  The Yooper accent is not played up too heavily.  We Yoopers don't all sound like we're straight out of the movie Fargo, and we appreciate it when we're not portrayed as such.  I gather some later books in the series are narrated by someone different, who does make us sound completely ridiculous.

This is a good book to review this month, as the story begins in late October.  If you're not from around here, you'll learn a bit about our November weather, and the storms Lake Superior gets that time of year.  (See also Gordon Lightfoot's song, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.)  By the way, we had our first snowfall of the season last weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Hadn't heard of these but maybe I'll check them out. Thanks for the review! :D