Friday, February 21, 2014

Review of "New Math is Murder"

Afternoon, dear readers!  Have I got a treat for all of you mystery/humor lovers.  I'm happy to bring to you a review of fellow indie Jo-Ann Reccoppa's New Math is Murder.

Book Blurb:
Newspaper stringer Colleen Caruso thinks she has it all – a great job as a freelance journalist, two nice kids, and an orderly suburban life. Her perfect world is shattered when her husband leaves her for a younger woman, she trips over the body of her daughter’s dead teacher on a morning jog, and she and her best friend become prime suspects in a murder investigation.

My Review:
Colleen Caruso's life is the perfect example of Murphy's Law - if something is going to go wrong, it's going to go wrong with her life.  Her self-centered husband leaves her for a younger woman and hides their assets, leaving Colleen in financial limbo.  Sara, her teenaged daughter, - well, need I say more? - is flunking Algebra after acing it the year before.  And Bobby, her ten-year-old, just wants his dad to come watch him lose another Little League game.

Not to mention her nosy parents who live behind her just across the alley, the pittance of freelancing for the local newspaper, the barely-out-of-college editor who loves giving Colleen the snooze-fest assignments, a best friend who's been keeping waaaay too many secrets, and a boss who won't keep his shirt on.

Did I mention her finances?

Throw in discovering the dead body of her daughter's Algebra teacher, and Colleen is one foot from the funny farm.

As regular readers know, I'm not very good with dry humor.  But I found New Math is Murder to be a witty delight with several chuckles and laugh-out-loud moments.  I could really relate to the mess Colleen has found herself in - especially after the hilarious beginning scene.  I too hate my alarm clock!

We stayed firmly in Colleen's point-of-view throughout.  We get a really good sense of who she is without being spoon-fed every teeny tiny tidbit.  I could relate to her as a human being with internal motivations.  Good with the showing and not too much of the telling.  Most everything had a purpose and a point and wasn't just thrown in as fluff and fodder to make the book longer (by the way, the length was perfect).

The mystery wasn't complicated and was easy to unravel, but the mystery wasn't so much the main focus of the read - it was just fun riding along to get to that "ah-ha" moment when everything fell into place for our characters.

Was every aspect of Colleen's life tied up in a pretty little bow by the end?  Nope - and I liked that!!!  Life doesn't get tied up in rosy bows, and it left everything with a great sense of realism among the laughs.  It also left room for follow-up mysteries for Colleen to solve.  And I look forward to reading more of her exploits and explorations.

I give New Math is Murder a solid four-and-ahalf stars and recommend for teens through adult.  I can't even remember if there was a single cuss word!  My mother would love this book.  Pick up a copy today if you want a good book for a cold weekend.


Author Bio:

Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa lives in New Jersey and draws on her experience as a freelance correspondent to create oddball characters and unusual scenarios. She has published over 400 articles. She has never tripped over a dead body while running in the woods, but eagerly awaits the day it will happen . . . if she should ever decide to take up jogging.

In addition to her endless reading and writing, Jo-Ann is the self-proclaimed most devoted Devils fan in New Jersey. She wishes to be buried in her No. 4 Scott Stevens jersey, though not too soon. She has much more to write, many books left to read, and a million more games to attend at The Rock!
New Math Is Murder is her first novel.

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