I’m not a mystery aficionado and in fact seldom read more than one or two books in any kind of series. J. K. Rowling and Anthony Trollope are notable exceptions. So, the best explanation for my extensive reading of Arthur Conan Doyle must be the Sherlock Holmes-Dr. Watson relationship dynamic. Anticipating Watson’s take on Holmes’ latest enigmatic pronouncement is nearly as suspenseful as tracking the hound on the moor.
Most of us observed early in our reading careers (thank you, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew) that fictional life is just better with one or more sidekicks. Either your associate will pick up on a clue that you missed, or he/she will behave in a manner denoting the appropriateness of your being the leader. Consider Jeeves and Wooster, for example. In Spencer Quinn’s Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery, Chet plays the Jeeves role–more perceptive, generally more patient, and decidedly more instructive for the reader. And Chet is a dog. This is a new take on the duo franchise, but not the newest or most unusual.
The library doesn’t own this book yet (it’s on order) but I am very curious to read Judy Clemens’ Embrace the Grim Reaper. Here’s the scenario: Casey Maldonado, all but undone by recent tragic events, hits the road in search of comfort, direction, or whatever, accompanied by Death, who apparently guides her to a small town in Ohio and then assists her in solving a murder.
I’m a sucker for a catchy title, but an inventive premise is almost as good.