East Of Peculiar
by Suzann Ledbetter, contemporary (2000)
MIRA, $5.99, ISBN 1-55166-597-2


East Of Peculiar is actually more of a romantic suspense than a suspenseful romance, in that the relationship between heroine Hannah Garvey and hero Sheriff David Hendrickson never develop fully (maybe in the sequels). Instead, EOP is a mystery that relies too heavily on old people doing outrageous things that after a while the story breaks down like a geriartic old coot trying to have a go at Oscar de la Hoya.

Hannah has left the rat race to take over the management of an old folks' community of Valhalla Springs. Hunky Sheriff David stops her for speeding and is taken by her beauty and sass. But when a resident of the Springs is murdered, things steam up tremendously. The old coots want to play Sherlock Holmes, and Hannah finds herself running what seems like a summer camp for Loony Tunes cartoon characters than any old folks' community.

Fair enough. It's funny the first time around, when I read about the old biddies' wisecracks and old coots' bunglings, but after a while the whole story just becomes repetitious. David and Hannah become annoying because she just keep protesting and whining and complaining about their age gap. She's also too busy, etc etc et boring freakin' cetera. Stephanie Plum and Joe Morelli these two people ain't, especially when it comes to sexy banters.

Maybe if there is a bit more relationship and character development, I'll buy into EOP better. But when it's all nothing but bungling, silly old people behaving stupidly and our heroine whining about her premature midlife crisis, there's little really to whet my appetite for a good, funny romantic suspense. Maybe next time.

Rating: 64


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