Where to start…where to start…
My first impression of The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds was that it read like walking into the middle of a dinner party conversation. A lot of background information was missing and characters were referred to by multiple names, making the story hard to keep track of. What I didn’t know was that this book is a spin-off series of another series called “The Lady Hardcastle Mysteries”. If you’d read that series, you’d have already been introduced to the characters and have a handle on the backstory missing from this book. Unfortunately, the author didn’t write this book in a way that lets it stand alone and left the reader patching in way too many holes on top of a mystery.
The characters themselves are lively and full of personality, but there’s just way too many of them, and as mentioned earlier, they were referred to by multiple names which caused a bit of confusion when reading. There’s even a portion of the book where the characters can’t remember another group’s set of names, so they rename then. From that point on, that 2nd group of people are referred to by multiple names. WHY? It only served to complicate unnecessarily.
The story itself is fun and a bit silly. Set in 1925 in Scotland yard, a band of jazz musicians must help Scotland Yard solve a mystery. The entire plot line of The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds depends heavily on the banter between the characters, which gets annoying when it stops moving the story forward and becomes a barrier to the plotline actually proceeding. The mystery is intriguing and I would have loved to see more time spent on developing that part of the story and less on the “witty” banter. With some heavy editing, this would be an excellent story. As currently written, it’s a light read that doesn’t require much investment.