Book review: Death by Didgeridoo, by Barbara Venkataraman

Death by Didgeridoo (A Jamie Quinn Mystery, #1)Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a delightful book this was.

Jamie Quinn is a divorce lawyer taking a work break after the death of her mother. She is not doing well — and not much leaving the house — when her cousin Adam (who has Asperger’s Syndrome) is accused of killing his music teacher, a former rock star. Her aunt begs her to help deal with the police and clear her son, despite Jamie’s lack of familiarity with criminal law and murder investigations.

Luckily (because this is a mystery novel), Jamie has friends who can help her — a criminal lawyer, a private detective — and she embarks on her investigation. She knows Adam to be non-violent and has no doubts as to his innocence.

The expert consultation that Jamie is able to access allows her to conduct a fairly thorough investigation and results in her and her friends figuring out the solution to the murder of the music teacher, Spike. The resolution is not particularly complicated, but it is logical and satisfying for that.

The book is written in a breezy, fast-paced style and is, as a result, a quick read. And it’s a short book (a bit over 100 pages, so more novella length) as well. As such, there is not a lot of space for subplots or extraneous material. The story stays nicely focused and uncluttered.

Having said that, the length also means that there is not a lot of room for character development or much in the way of backstory. Matters which might merit more focus — such as Jamie’s recovery from her grief — are dealt with rather quickly. And there is less breadth and depth to the story than there might be.

All in all, however, I enjoyed the book and would be happy to read another in the series. (I would particularly like to see a longer book about Jamie, who has a lot of potential for complexity, I think.)

Full disclosure: I received a free ebook of this title from the author for the purposes of review. However, my review and opinions are my own.

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