Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review: "Gnome on the Range" by Jennifer Zane

I don't remember why I picked up "Gnome on the Range" by Jennifer Zane, but I did. It's a quick, simple read. If you have a three hour plane trip, it mixes enough humor, romance, and mystery to keep you from worrying about rabid airline stewards, upset pilots, or drunken passengers. The protagonist, Jane West, is a likable widow working in her mother-in-law's sex shop. Her two kids are kids, mixing things up as they should. However, the plot line gets a bit thin in places. About 53% through the e-book, the mystery is not that hard to figure out, and I was somewhat disappointed that she throws herself back into danger at the end of the story like a clueless, love struck, horny mom. From a mystery aspect, she figures out next-to-nothing, which is a bit disappointing. I had hoped at some point, she'd turn on her analytical brain and connect a few dots or become an amateur sleuth to pinpoint the villain, who has to connect all the dots for her.

The humor is the best part of the story for me, the juxtaposition of some situations, some of her wry observations, and, of course, GG. Her mother-in-law saves the day inadvertently on several occasions and keeps the romance moving forward until it shamelessly triggers the final climax. No real pun intended. This is a hard book to rate. As a mystery, it is a run-of-the-mill "3." Some of the things the villain does in the story don't even make good villainy sense but are more or less there to move the plot forward with one more risky situation for our heroine. However, the humor and romance raises it up a notch, even though I'm not entirely sure what the single, hunky firefighter sees in her other than "big tits." But, I have a soft spot for garden gnomes, enough to raise this to a low "4".

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