Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Book Review: B-Very Flat

I was thrilled when I won a personally autographed copy of Margot Kinberg's book B-Very Flat in a contest. Her blog, Confessions of a Mystery Novellist, has reintroduced me to the pleasure of reading well written crime fiction, and the only reason I hadn't read either of her books was because even the online bookstores in India didn't stock them. When I finally held the book in my hands, I wanted to drop everything and dive into it, but managed to resist the temptation till I finished the book I had then been reading.

The wait was worth it. Within moments of opening the book, I was drawn into the story of music student, Serena Brinkworth. Beautiful, rich and talented, she could have been someone you admired from far, but didn't really want to get close to. Instead, she turned out to be a very nice person, who genuinely cared for others and often went out of her way to help them. You knew she was going to die, but kept hoping she would not, and when she actually did midway through the book, all you wanted to do was to find the murderer and see that justice was done.

Margot knows more about crime fiction than anyone else I know. She is also a mistress of crafting a mystery story in the tradition of Dame Agatha Christie. There was a range of very diverse suspects, each with a unique and very plausible motive to murder. Which of them actually did it was the question. The story followed Dr Joel Williams, a professor of Criminal Justice (and teacher of Serena's lover) as he sifted through the evidence to find out which of them actually also had the means to commit the crime.

Since you know that Margot is too much of a student of the classic whodunit to cheat the reader by withholding clues, it was relatively easy to sniff out the red herrings, and nab the culprit pages before the investigators. But that only added to the allure of the book.

The book is written in an easy to read style that draws you in, and keeps you floating along with current. Each of the characters is well deliniated and multi-dimensional- whether you like them or not, you feel you known them. Best of all, through Serena, her lover and one other character, Margot tackles a topic that most writers tend to keep away from, and does it with great sensitivity.

Overall, a book I enjoyed reading, as much as I do her daily blog posts.

I am sure most of you have already read the book, but if you haven't, do yourself a favour and get hold of the book at the earliest.
Disclaimer: Margot sent me the book, but it was not in anticipation of a review. I reviewed the book, because I loved it, and I want more people to enjoy it as much as I did.

If I have done it right, the book trailer should show up here -


Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - Oh, how very, very kind of you! *Deep blush* What a very kind and generous review. I am so grateful to you :-). And I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, too. That means a lot to me... *Another deep blush*... You've truly made my week :-) - or more.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations on winning the book! You wrote a great review as well.

Mary Vaughn said...

It's on my TBR list and now it's a must.
Thanks, Rayna.

Misha said...

Sounds like a great read. :-)

Just dropped by to say hi.

Hart Johnson said...

Great review, Rayna! I definitely want to read it! I'd been under the impression it was Cozier, so I'm glad I read this.

Clarissa Draper said...

Margot, when will this be available for Kindle because it's difficult for me to get the book down here in Mexico.

Margot Kinberg said...

Clarissa - Thanks for the kind interest :-). I'm honestly not sure if/when B-Very Flat will be on Kindle (it's a long story that I don't want to get into on a blog post comment). I'll be in touch with you about it.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I haven't read this book, but because of your review I'm adding it to my want-to-read list.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Margot - I loved the book. Really, really loved it. Read it between the Breaker and Cut Short and all three were equally fantastic.
Wanted to drop you a line, but kids didn't let me. Then figured out it made sense to have you find it yourself :-)

@ Alex - Thank you. If you are looking for a really nice read, this is your book.

@ Mary - I am sure you are going to LOVE it, Mary.

@ Misha - it is ! And thankyou for dropping by.

@ Hart - it is definitely NOT a cozy. I do love cozies, but this is not one. It follows its own structure, the characters through well etched are not cozy characters, and it is a great read.

@ Clarissa - the books is fantastic, Clarissa.

@ Jane - if you like the Agatha Christie kind of whodunits, you will love this. It is a traditional mystery but with a twist in storytelling technique- you spend half the book getting to know and like the victim.

Jemi Fraser said...

Wonderful! Can't wait to read it! :)

Al said...

Great review.

I love Margot's blog. She has so much energy.

Jen Chandler said...

I've not heard of this book. It sounds like a wonderful mystery. I'll have to look it up! Thanks for the review!!

Bernadette said...

What a lovely review of a great book. And I agree, Margot knows more about crime fiction than anyone I know too :)

Dorte H said...

A fine review of a great polie procedural.

And I also think things will be simpler when we can get all books in ebook format :D

I still prefer paper books, but for overseas writers, it is often too expensive.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Jemi - it is well worth the time you spend reading it.

@ Al - she is amazing, isnt' she?

@ Jen - and if you like mysteries, you really should follow Margot too. She is just fantastic.

@ Bernadette - thank you. And she is amazing, isn't she?

@ Dorte - thank you, Dorte. I first need to get myself an e-reader. You are right, e-books are much easier for us overseas readers.


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