This book is quite simply an amateurish mess. First, there’s not much of a chance that the reader can deduce who the killer is, since there aren’t any real clues given. Strike one. Second, far far too much space is given to completely pointless and needless description. It’s all tell and no show. Strike two. Thirdly, there’s no logic to anything: Normally, an investigating officer doesn’t allow himself to fall madly in love during a murder investigation. Batter out. Side retired.
All the bad writing clichés are here: The telling of what’s going on rather than showing it with character action. Cardboard characters with no personality. No rationales for motivations. Head-hopping in the middle of a story sequence. And story clichvs that make the clichés of the construction look mild by comparison. It’s like the author read a bunch of quaint mystery novels, the broad creative swatches from them all, using only the most mundane and most dull bits. And losing all the quaintness, all the fun, all the character-driven essences in the process.
And Death Checks Inn is guilty of the worst crime of all in a detective novel: It is boring. It was a veritable chore to finish, even speed-reading. As a reader, you want the killer to finish off ALL the people you encounter in the story, and then commit suicide for being so dreadfully dull.
I love series detective and mystery fiction. I’ll read most anything, but I can pretty much guarantee I’ll never read another one of this author’s books. I’d love to give it no stars, or a fraction of a single one to drive the point home, but, alas, a one-star is as low as it’ll go.