2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
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Book Review: Emerald Coast: Free Money by Michael Guillebeau

This was a very fun and engaging mystery from the author of one of my favorite darkly funny finds last year – MAD Librarian. In this latest book, we find ourselves in Gulf Coast Florida, where a long-time resident detective and his partner, a recent transplant from Chicago, find themselves embroiled in a mystery that is equal parts serious and seriously ridiculous. It’s a great combination in the hands of a talented storyteller, and Guillebeau is that in spades. The characters are a delight and the setting is unusual (at least it was for me) and lent itself to a lot of hilarity and dark humor that played really well with the plot. Lizzie Borden is a very fun and funky character and her attempts to bring her musical career back on track offered just the right blend of “regular person who won’t take it any more” sass that I loved about MAD Librarian.

This was a very fun and very quick read and the ending seemed to leave open the possibility for more books/stories in the future. I sincerely hope that’s the case because this was a world that was too fun for only one visit!

NB: On that note, I did a little research, and Guillebeau has some short stories set in this world already – despite my not generally being a big fan of that format, I will definitely look for them though, because the characters in this Florida swamp of a world are intriguing and a great melange of personalities, quirks, and foibles. I actually think they’d lend themselves well to a short format; it would allow for a lot of character presentation and development in gator-bite-sized morsels, and when you couple that with Guillebeau’s easygoing and engaging writing style, I can only imagine the result will be fun.

Thanks to NetGalley for my review copy.

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