Monday, July 25, 2016

Follow the Dotted Line by Nancy Hersage

Goodreads / Amazon

Title: Follow the Dotted Line
Author: Nancy Hersage
Publisher: Kindle Press
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Genre: Fiction, Humor, Mystery 

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Andrea Bravos is dazed and amazed when a Styrofoam burger box with her ex's ashes arrives in the mail. Her adventure to find out what happened will upset officials of several small countries, insult the founders of three major religions, give her four adult children acid reflux, and lead her to assault with a deadly golf club.
In the process, she will joyfully drag along her soft-spoken but fearsome accountant, while trying to fend off her mooch of a nephew. It’s a convoluted and quixotic caper, but it all comes together in the end—even the avocados, World War II spy, IRS agent, palm reader, and deadly spider.
Move over Marple and Plum, here comes Andy!

The premise behind Follow the Dotted Line was so unique, I couldn't wait to see how the story played out. Andy's ex-husband's current (younger) wife sends his ashes to her oldest son, saying only that he's dead and to never contact her. This sets up the search for answers, which Andy undertakes with the help of her nephew, Harley and her friend, Lorna.

First of all, I really enjoyed the mystery aspect. It becomes very apparent early on that something is a little fishy about the whole situation and it's exciting to see Andy, along with her friends and family, uncover the secrets. To me, it was pretty easy to figure out what had happened, sparing a few minor details, yet it was still a fun journey. I only wish there had been a bit more suspense; there weren't any truly nail-biting moments until the last third of the book

I could understand Andy's eagerness to jump right into investigating the mystery surrounding her ex-husband's supposed death. She needed to feel like she had a purpose in life, since her writing career had all but dried up. Andy was brave to jump headfirst into an investigation, when she had no experience in doing so. She was also determined, stubborn, and a bit too self-involved at times. Her biggest distraction and source of irritation was Harley. I felt bad for him, because he was just trying to figure himself out. He's very determined to fit in somewhere, much of it tied to religion which Andy did not seem to want anything to do with. She got irritated so often with him, even when he was saying something helpful, that for a while it really irked me. When I thought back on it, however, I could see that a lot of her annoyance came because she wanted to prove that she could figure out things for herself. That she wasn't too old and was smart enough to follow the clues without any help. When she wasn't grumbling about how she hated Harley tagging along, they made a really good team that was entertaining to read about.

The pacing seemed a little slow at times, but that's probably because I was just so interested in the characters solving the mystery that some scenes seemed to drag. I realize it was all important though; the author had a tall order to fill with this novel, since there are a lot of characters and development/growth had to happen with each. There also wasn't as much humor as I had been hoping, or maybe (more accurately) it wasn't the kind of obvious humor I was expecting.

Follow the Dotted Line was the first installment in the Andrea Bravos Mysteries series. I'm really not sure where the characters will go from here; is another mystery going to fall into Andy's lap, or will she become something like a P.I.? We'll just have to speculate for now. This novel was a good start and I look forward to reading more from author Nancy Hersage in the future.

If you'd like to learn more about author Nancy Hersage, please visit her website and connect with her on Twitter.

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