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Wit's End
A Novel

by Karen Joy Fowler


Rima Lansill is reeling from the deaths of her father and brother and needs some space to recover.  She decides to go and stay with her godmother, Addison Early, to find direction in life without her loved ones.  Addison is a bestselling mystery author who has written many a book about Detective Maxwell Lane.  Enough readers believe Detective Lane is flesh and blood that he regularly gets not only fan mail, but even credit card applications.  Author Karen Joy Fowler thus establishes just how fuzzy the lines will be in this novel between fiction and non-fiction.

As Addison struggles to write a new book, she holes up in her studio leaving Rima to explore on her own, and to deal with the most unusual household members. The cook is a recovering alcoholic who attends her twelve step meetings at the Land of Medicine Buddha, the two dachshunds are not only miniatures, they even have their own dog walkers to take them to the beach, and perhaps the most unusual household "members" are the multitude of doll houses.  It seems that each mystery Addision has written over the years has found its roots in a murder scenario set in a dollhouse.

Rima finds the setting of Santa Cruz odd in itself, but staying at her godmother's house, a former bed and breakfast now named "Wit's End" is beyond the pale.  As she learns more about her godmother, the purpose behind her late father portraying a murderer in Addison's novels, and about her own emotional puzzles the story turns stranger and stranger.  Yet it is so compelling and so unique are the secrets within, that even shared as they are with enough humor and style, it may still take you a while to to fully appreciate the wit of Wit's End.

Mystery lovers and those who enjoy a well written novel full of compelling and unusual characters, settings, and events should all find themselves totally immersed in this book.  Highly recommended.

The Book

April 2009/font>
Mystery / Detective
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The Reviewer

Laura Hinds
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Laura Hinds is an experienced freelance writer whose first novel, "Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?", just came out in 2009.
© 2009