First Review in for No Sanctuary

The first review of No Sanctuary was on DorothyL this morning. DorothyL is a list for mystery readers and writers. Readers tell about books they've read and so do writers who also promo their own books. I offered a copy of No Sanctuary to the first three people who asked. This is the first review from that offer.

"As far as I could determine, one did not have to have read the earlier books in order to understand or appreciate this one. The book itself is an easy-to-read trade paperback with a very large typeface and good quality paper. It is a police procedural with a decidedly cozy feel.

Stacey Wilbur, a police officer in the Rocky Bluff Police Department, comes across a car accident. She finds a woman dead at the wheel. The cause of death is not the car crash but a bullet behind her ear. The victim is the wife of a popular minister, Paul Cookmeyer. Who would want this beautiful, sophisticated woman dead? When Stacey delivers the news of his wife's death, she finds the minister strangely unmoved by the news. As the investigation proceeds, we find that Mallory Cookmeyer was not the perfect minister's wife and that hers was not the perfect marriage. As the detectives unravel the strands of the mystery, several threads lead to members of the church family, other churches, and the community at large.

It is difficult for me to write about this book because I felt as if it were written for a far less sophisticated reader than me. In fact, I think it would be the perfect book for adults in a literacy or ESL program. The language is very simple. The plot is very straightforward. The characters are very one-dimensional. There is one subplot that makes me question whether or not the book would be suitable for a Christian audience or for very young middle school readers. The romance in the book never goes beyond hugging and light kissing. I thought the family relationship between Stacey, her parents, and her son was somewhat unrealistic, but then I'm not used to books where everyone is so good. There is very little internal dialog, so we never quite know what the characters are thinking in any given situation. The somewhat limited cast of suspects made the villain fairly apparent about halfway through the book.

I would recommend this book for those who prefer a sanitized view of murder, for those who like very linear reads, for church reading groups, for older readers who dislike reading about physical intimacy, for adults who are learning to read, and for ESL students who are learning to read English with fluency.

Jan Watson, who hopes this review will not be perceived as negative because, once she adjusted her mind set, enjoyed the book."

Since I've invited all my church friends to the launch for this book I thought the part about the church reading groups was good. And I admit, I shut the door of the bedroom, don't use bad language though the characters do sometime, but I just don't quote them. And I really do know cops who don't use bad language all the time.

All in all, it wasn't a bad review. Keep them coming.



Morgan Mandel said…
That the reviewer didn't need to read the first book in the series is a plus. Also, the reviewer mentions the book is aimed at the very audience you've been going after, from what I can tell. You did mention having the launch at the church hall. Also, there are still lots of people who don't care if graphic sex is omitted.

Morgan Mandel
Anonymous said…
Good for you, Marilyn. I love your books, and as I've said many times before, your Tempe Crabtree books take me "home."

You're such a busy gal! Good luck with your church hall program,and your trip to the conference in Las Vegas.

Say hello to Hap for me. Miss you both!

Pat Browning

BTW, Kaye Barley had some nice things to say about your books on DorothyL today. Hope you saw it.
Here's what Kaye Barley had to say on DorothyL too:

And proof of "different strokes for different folks?" Jan found Marilyn Meredith's book to be written at a level of sophistication which was below her

Respectfully, I'd like to say I don't feel that way about Marilyn's
writing at all. Now, it is quite possible my reading level isn't as
sophisticated at Jan's and I don't dispute that, so if there are readers out there who feel we're at the same level, you may indeed find Marilyn's books to be at a level you'll enjoy just as I do. I'm especially a VERY big fan of her Tempe Crabtree series.

Kaye in Boone

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