Monday, June 23, 2014

What Strange Creatures; Emily Arsenault

What Strange Creatures; Emily Arsenault
William Morrow - 2014

Theresa Battle, is a 30-something, young woman who has been working on her PhD for seven years and still isn’t done with her dissertation. She writing about Margery Kempe, a 14th century mystic, or at least she was purported to be one.

Her lack of focus and her life in limbo is not all Theresa’s fault though.  She comes from a dysfunctional family, and she’s had some setbacks along the way – a marriage and a divorce, and now she is working at a dead end job writing for a local candle company. She’s an animal lover too, as animals don’t disappoint you. In fact each time Theresa ends a relationship she acquires a new pet, right now it’s (2) cats and (1) dog.

Things do get a bit more exciting in Theresa’s life when she agrees to watch the dog of her brother’s  girlfriend (Kim). When girlfriend, Kim, never returns to pick up the pooch Jeff, a directionless guy who has a bit of an issue with alcohol, tells his Theresa that he doesn’t know where Kim is. However, it isn’t long before Kim's body is found, and Jeff is arrested for her murder after some incriminating evidence is found.

Theresa, refusing to believe that her brother Jeff is guilty, starts her own amateur investigation with a list of possible suspects.

The writing style is very good, with a good balance of suspense and humor which helps to drive the story along. I think I would classify this book as a literary mystery.   I loved the main character -she was quirky, gutsy, and yet very down to earth.  I found the info, dispersed along the way, about her PhD subject, Margery Kempe added interest to the story as well, and I was happy that the mystery itself was not predictable. I definitely plan to read more books by this author.

4.5/5 stars 
(review copy from publisher)


  1. This actually sounds pretty interesting, even though I usually don't go for books with dysfunctional families. (although, if I stuck to that rule, I wouldn't have many books to read - LOL)

  2. The author sounded familiar so I checked my wish list and found her book, The Broken Teaglass, on it. Looks like she writes books I'd like.

  3. I signed up for a book tour for this one. So glad I did! I'm happy there's humor mixed in with the suspense.

  4. Wonderful review Diane! I'm glad you enjoyed What Strange Creatures. It sounds like one I would enjoy too. I also like the idea of a little humor mixed in.

  5. I like the sound of the main character. Quirky, gutsy and down the earth. This sounds like a good one!


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