I broke my rule about how I pick books to read. And now I am breaking my rule about not reviewing a book if it is bad. There were two books offered on Kindle for free, RETIREMENT GONE SOUTH (published in June 2010) and THE BEACH BAGS (published in January 2013). Kind of a long wait between two books in a series. It is the Flora BeGora series by Karen Rempel Arthur. I grabbed them without checking because cozy mysteries with senior citizens are always fun and with a name like Flora BeGora, I was sure the books would be a scream. Let me preface what I am going to say with Ms Arthur is a very good writer. First, the retiree, Flora, is 55. I’m 56 and I don’t buy a 55 year old being old. If I had checked, I would have discovered that in all this time, Retirement Gone South has, as of this writing, not a single review. I mean seriously, who doesn’t have at least one friend or relative that will write a review for you? It also has the lowest ranking I personally have come across on Amazon. There were formatting problems. Which I can forgive. Formatting is tough. But since June of 2010, the author could have gotten it fixed and re-uploaded. Hey, it happened with even J. K. Rowlings’ latest.  I don’t read books with an agenda. For example, I don’t read Christian Fiction. Fine, if that appeals to you. But I don’t like to be preached to so I don’t read it. The agenda in this book was an anti-marijuana one. I could deal with that but the nonsense the author spouted hasn’t been heard since the early 1900’s when the drug companies were attempting to get it banned. And her knowledge of the terminology was appalling. If the author had substituted  meth lab for a hidden field of marijuana, she would have had a good story. Because she does write well and had a good story line that was marred by what was clearly a personal agenda. It had to be an agenda, my 86 year old mother isn’t as ignorant about pot.  THUMBS DOWN  So, why did I even bother with the second book? Curiosity. I just wanted to see if catching the evil pot growers was going to be a recurring theme. It wasn’t and I found The Beach Bags to be a very enjoyable read. Other than the ‘old’ 55 year old. (Flora was financially able to retire after the death of her husband. That’s fine, just don’t keep talking about being old like she is 85.) Flora finds a frozen body in the snow on the beach. Soon, someone is trying to kill Flora and neither she nor the police can figure out why. The Beach Bags are five wealthy women who gave themselves that name when they formed a group and each has a tattoo of a beach bag somewhere on her body. Flora soon starts to suspect they are up to something. This was a good read. The formatting was not an issue. There was one brief preachy scene near the beginning. Seems in addition to marijuana, Ms Arthur has an issue with unwed mothers and welfare. If she can learn to keep those opinions out of the books, she could have a good series going here. ♥♥♥

Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle

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