Review of Scavenger Hunt by Yvonne Montgomery
Overview from www.bn.com: Denver stockbroker, Finny Aletter, dreams of quitting her cutthroat job to restore historic houses, but the murder of her boss—and ex-lover—Elliot Fulton keeps her in the world of scavengers.
When a prized manuscript that once belonged to Elliot surfaces, Finny tops the list of possible killers.
Now, Finny must find Elliot's killer by tracing the manuscript's origin and stay one step ahead of Lieutenant Chris Barelli, the cynical homicide detective working the case, if he is to see her as more than a sexy suspect.
This week I go back to the mystery genre. I found this one lurking in my digital library and realized that I’d never read it. And now I have remedied that problem.
However, I am not sure that was such a good idea as this one was something of a disappointment. It seemed to have so much promise that I am not entirely sure where it all went wrong. And while it is not the worst one that I have read it is not the best either.
So what was wrong with it? Well, to start off with I had a hard time liking our heroine. Her name is Finny Aletter but it is not the name that I had trouble with, even if it is a bit odd. Instead it was her attitude about certain things.
First off, at the beginning of the book, but after the murder of her boss, we discover that Finny had once had an affair with said boss. The affair ended ten years prior and I think I would have been fine with it if it weren’t with the fact that Finny seems to feel that cheating with a married man who happens to be her boss is not a big deal.
I could have accepted it much better if she had simply said, “Yes, I cheated with my boss but I have learned from my mistake and have moved on,” or something to that effect. Instead we get a woman who admits to cheating with her boss but does not seem the least bit sorry that she did it. I get the impression that our Finny feels that everyone cheats at some point or another and it just isn’t that big of a deal. So while she may not be guilty of killing him, she doesn’t seem to have much sympathy for his family either.
The other thing that I didn’t like about Finny was that she never really solves the crime. She investigates, sure, but the solution to crime just falls into her lap when the guilty culprit decides to confess although Finny is already convinced that someone else did it (and the murder is aware of it as well). This problem was more noticeable, I think, than it would have been if this book were not a part of series. (It was labeled as “a Finny Aletter” mystery #1.) In my opinion a mystery series heroine ought to be much better at solving crimes.
The next problem is that we are never told how Finny will get into the crime solving business. At the beginning of the story we hear that she is planning on quitting her job but not so that she can become a detective, she intends to go into the interior decorating business. After reading this book it is still a mystery to me (pun intended) how our Finny will go from interior decorator to detective.
Finally, the swearing and sexuality were a little bit more than I would have liked and it disappointed me since it seemed like the author snuck them in a little late in story, almost as an afterthought (and one that I think she’d have done better to leave out). My afterthought at the end of all this is, I am not recommending this one.