Invisible (An Ivy Malone Mystery Book #1) by Lorena McCourtney
Published: Flemming H. Revell Company, August 1st 2004
Length: 275 pages (eBook edition)
Where Did I Get It? Amazon Kindle Store for free
Summary (from Goodreads):
A mysterious disappearance fuels the mutant curiosity of Ivy Malone, whose oddball humor, possum-gray hair, and quirky sleuthing skills make her unlike any average crime fighter. Book one of the Ivy Malone mysteries.
The sign arched over the gravel driveway proclaimed Country Peace in rusty wrought iron. Beyond the sign, the havoc in the cemetry challenged that claim of serenity.
I really quite enjoyed this book – it made me giggle out loud on several ocassions (even when I was reading it in the A&E waiting room with blood soaking into my jacket from my hand) and had plenty of lovable characters.
The sort of murder mystery where the ‘hero’ falls into it by accident – Ivy Malone is an ‘LOL’ (Little Old Lady) with an insatiable curiosity and a deep rooted passion for God and finding the truth about everything.
Ivy is adorable – she goes to church on Sundays, enjoys lunch out with her best friend and like to try and keep life interesting and exciting. This is exactly what leads her into trouble after her best friend dies and her tennant, Kendra, mysteriously vanishes only to turn up murdered a few days later.
Ivy doesn’t mean to investigate but feels somehow responsible for Kendra, who has very few friends in the area and no family. What follows is an amusing series of events with everything from ‘LOL’ matchmaking (hilarious), death threats, vandalism, cross-country treks and a particularly viscious guard dog.
A bit like an American Miss Marple but with more God and less pretentiousness, Invisible was a fun read that made me smile and left me tempted to cough up £3 for the next book to find out what happens next.
There was just one issue with the whole thing and that was the religion. Now I’m not going to go all ‘God has no place in books’ because that’s a lie – there’s nothing wrong with it. However, when I feel like the book is beating me round the head and telling me to go to church next Sunday and give myself up to God, then I start having issues. I’m a Christian, I go to church – even I was irritated with all the preaching by the end of Invisible.
The most frustrating thing was 95% of the time it wasn’t an issue – it was only whenever Ivy met a new character and the first question out of her mouth was basically ‘Do you go to church?’ and if no then, ‘You should come with me next week.’ I didn’t mind her talking to God in the narrative, it fitted her character perfectly and wasn’t in any way offensive – in fact, it was a beautiful illustration of how someone’s faith can carry them through both hard times and good – however there was the odd paragraph that felt forced and preachy. I wanted to take a red pen and cross them out.
That aside, it was a lovely book and anyone, religious or not, wanting a fun murder mystery romp with a quirky lead character should give it a go.
My Rating: 3/5*