30 September, 2016

The Hummingbird Wizard by Meredith Blevins #Review

Pages -  447
Publisher -  WordWorx Publishing
Originally Published -  2003
Publication Date -  May 21, 2012
Genre -   Supernatural, Psychics, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Series -   (The Annie Szabo Mystery Series 1)
Sexual Content -  2/5
Language -  Mild
Amazon Buy -  Link


Once you marry into a gypsy clan, just try to get out! Annie Szabo loved her husband, but after his death, she was only too happy to leave his outrageous clan behind, especially her pushy mother-in-law, Madame Mina. But Mina wasn't just any pushy relative. As the heart of the close-knit Szabo family, she was also powerful, stubborn, and devoutly to be avoided.
Well, too bad for Annie! When her oldest friend, Jerry, turns up dead, she’s plunged back into the family she tried to leave behind. She knows Jerry was murdered, but how is she supposed to prove it?
Easy, if you’ve got a gypsy family. Or anyway, easier. So before you know it, Annie’s knee-deep once again in ancient curses, petty theft, and, everyone’s favorite--love magic. All thanks to Madame Mina’s psychic skills and a certain wildly sexy gypsy and his shady P.I. father.
As Annie turns amateur detective, THE HUMMINGBIRD WIZARD turns sexy. Truth to tell, it’s probably one of the sexiest mysteries you're ever going to read, but not because it's explicit--there’s just something about that…wizard. Lawyers, criminals, kink, magic, and more murder mysteries, coupled with Blevins’ trademark humor, make for a delicious—and very funny-- supernatural cozy, with a healthy dose of romance. 


Well, if you take reviews and the above synopsis at face value, you're in for a huge let-down.

As was I after slogging my way through 50+ chapters of first-person narrative that wasn't nearly as funny as we're led to believe.

At least it wasn't diary-entry first-person, I'll give it that.

And, sexy? Hmm, let me think.

Yeah, the Hummingbird Wizard was dead sexy (no pun intended) and honestly didn't deserve Annie or this story to make his debut.

Annie is middle-aged and has a college-age daughter, is a widow, and on her way to spend a weekend fling with an old friend of hers, who happens to be divorced from her sister-in-law, when Jerry doesn't show up at the appointed hour at his place in San Francisco.

Jerry's ex, Annie's sister-in-law, is always drunk and the mother-in-law, Capri's mother, is at this rich, old house when Annie arrives.

After they argue, Annie drinks some wine and goes to bed in Jerry's room when she has this erotic dream and thinks it was Jerry but she was too drunk on wine and herbal tea to really know.

The next day she finds a bottle of juju on the dresser and Capri passed out on the kitchen floor.

Capri remains in a stupor throughout this story, Jerry is discovered dead behind his law office in the city, and Annie is somehow drawn into the discovery of it all.

She's bitchy, smart-ass, and resentful.

An example would include Annie's attitude toward her next door neighbor, The Shrink.

We've got a caravan parked on the property, her daughter's sculpture bodies lying about all over the yard, a gypsy camp on the edge of the property, and a stubborn Fed parked out front day and night, not to mention the campfires, the dancing, and the voodoo, along with a trained parrot and a guy who walks around wearing a real feathered cape.

So, does Annie really have the right to sneer at The Shrink, call him The Shrink, and assume he is just dying to know what's going on at the weirdo's house next door?

It takes all of the 50+ chapters of snark, rehash, and supposed humor to finish telling us what turns out to be not all that mysterious or shocking.

Without giving it away, let me just say that if Mina (the irascible mother-in-law) was all that psychic, she'd have picked up on the bad guy hella sooner than it took and wouldn't have needed an outsider (Annie) to get the job done.

The mysticism and Romanian gypsy ways were both interesting and insulting, but this was 2003 and I'm pretty sure the author was kind of old when she first wrote this, so . . .

And while there are some type-o's, questionable word choices, and really odd punctuation used throughout this lengthy whodunit, I have to admit that the story still managed to captivate because of the writing style.

But again, as with all first-person narratives, the rest of the cram-packed cast were one-dimensional because they had no voice.

Annie told us what everyone thought, felt, how they behaved, and why they behaved that way based on her opinion, which, to me, most of the time, was jaded, biased, prejudiced, and mean depending on who it was that entered a particular scene.

If I said that reading first-person novels is the equivalent of listening to the author play with paper dolls, would it make better sense?

None of these people were really described in a way that worked to help me fully envision them in my head, so I had to make up my own ideas and while some people might prefer that, I don't and want the characters fleshed out by the author so that I'm not left to wonder.

If you like lengthy mysteries that aren't of the cozy variety, I know you're going to enjoy reading The Hummingbird Wizard, and there are two more novels in this series:


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