I am a member of GoodReads, a “free website for book lovers”. I read so much, that GoodReads conferred upon me the status of “librarian,” allowing me to annotate and edit book information on the site. Somewhere along the line, I must have signed up to receive advance copies of books to read and ultimately review for GoodReads. My first such book arrived in the mail last week: Truly, Madly, by Heather Webber.
Truly, Madly is the first installment of the Lucy Valentine mysteries. Lucy Valentine comes from a long line of psychics. Her father, Oscar, uses his aura-reading abilities to run a lucrative matchmaking agency in Boston. Oscar’s peccadilloes have landed him in trouble, and he calls Lucy to fill in for him at the agency. She works a total of three days before she meets the hunky private investigator upstairs and goes off on a wild-goose chase with him for one of her clients. In the midst of that, Lucy saves the day by using her psychometric powers to find a lost boy. The press and police get wind of Lucy’s abilities and expose them to the public. Lucy continues to solve a mystery for one of her first matchmaking clients, and the story stumbles on from there.
This novel is garbage; it’s not even good enough to be a beach read. It’s more like the bastard child of a Harlequin romance (which I have never read) and a Sue Grafton novel (which I have read). The plot is predictably formulaic: girl gets a job; girl meets a guy; they have an adventure; girl investigates a case on her own; girl somehow gets into physical danger; handsome guy and meddling family/friends rescue girl. The story is juvenile, clunky, and disjointed. Before I trashed author, Heather Webber’s work, I looked at her GoodReads page and books. We have absolutely no books in common because all she lists are crummy dime-store mysteries, the ones I usually avoid. [I will confess to a small weakness for Diane Mott Davidson’s culinary mysteries, equally formulaic but fun.]
Thank you, GoodReads, for the advance copy of Truly, Madly, but no-thank-you to anything else by Heather Webber.