Dangerous admission number 1: I am coming perilously close to spending more time than I ever expected on this review blog.
Dangerous admission number 2: I am enjoying it way more than I ever thought I would.
Today’s review, Dangerous Admissions, by Jane O’Connor, was a quick and fascinating read. I was impressed with the author’s deft handling of the days of this ex-copyeditor-turned-stay-at-home-mom-turned-parttime-sleuth as she talked her way into new information that would help her shed light on who murdered the Dean of College Admissions at Very Fancy Prep School. Oh, that’s right. Chapel School. Chaps. The nondenominational, nonsectarian, nonjustabouteverything prep school that the narrator’s daughter graduated and son now attends.
Chaps is a richly drawn setting for this book, with attention paid to details such as the papers in the office and the kids’ playground next door (complete with two resident yet mostly harmless drug dealers the kids have nicknamed Arm and Hammer). O’Connor’s strength actually is in the details, little things, like a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, a glass, and bit players like Arm and Hammer themselves. At first, I was fascinated by her attention to detail and choice of details to feature. This enjoyment only deepened as I realized that she was making these choices seriously — the same details crop up repeatedly throughout the book, bringing the reader full circle as the case draws inevitably to a close.
That alone would make this book worth another read.
The story hops along at a fast pace, much like a mama’s busy days getting her children ready for school, volunteering at that school, and fitting in her own interests and pursuits here and there as she’s able. The storyline is realistic and yet novel, with just enough suspense to keep the reader turning pages long after the kids are in bed. The book is well-written by an experienced hand (remember Fancy Nancy?), with only the occasional misstep as she inserts teenage pop culture into the flow of the author’s every day life. Then again, those references may be intended to be a little awkward, as the narrator herself feels at times as the mother of two almost-adults.
I can only imagine how that feels.
This book was a great, fast-paced read that I’d recommend to anyone. Um, except those dealing with a current or recent or particularly painful cancer experience. There are a few insensitive words surrounding the Dean’s death. Perhaps I was sensitive to it because I had just reached that point in Matrimony as well; but, at least you’re forewarned.
This review done in conjunction with the Parent Bloggers Network.