Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a fan of mystery stories…a BIG fan. I spent hours watching Scooby-Doo as a child and reading everything I could get my hands on that had anything to do with ghosts, murders, and other mysterious things. Was a weird kid? Maybe. I’m still a pretty strange adult…and I still love a good mystery.
A few months back, Melissa Foster was running a book giveaway promotion for a copy of Chasing Amanda, and I won. I was thrilled that I won the book (who doesn’t like getting free books?), but I was even more thrilled at the quality of the book. I loved it (practically from page one), and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Here are just three reasons why I loved the book so much and why I think everyone else should read it, too.
1) It will stick with you.
I read this book MONTHS ago, and it’s still inside my head…and that’s a good thing. Really effective fiction (in my view) changes the reader in some way and gets them thinking–and thinking, and thinking, and thinking… That’s what Chasing Amanda did for me, and I love it!
I still remember the characters, the plot…everything about the book, really. It kind of wrecks my ability to read it again, but that’s okay. I’ve never been much for reading books over and over again. I think I’ve done that with Agatha Christie’s Sleeping Murder, but that’s the only book that I’ve read more than once…EVER.
2) It’s a really good mystery.
And by that I mean that it was hard for me to figure out “who done it”. I was convinced I knew who the kidnapper was…in the beginning. Then I didn’t know. And then, toward the end of the book, I thought I knew again…but, it turns out, I was wrong about that, too!
Predictable? No. Not in my book. Excellent! It kept me guessing right up until the end, but it didn’t leave me feeling cheated…like something had been held back from me so that I couldn’t possibly have figured it out, like so many Agatha Christie books (NOT Sleeping Murder) have in the past.
Also, Melissa did an admirable job of tying up all the loose ends. I didn’t notice ANY, and this is very rare. So many novels these days (not just mysteries) don’t resolve all the storylines, and that annoys me…A LOT. I mean, I could understand it if you were planning on a sequel (I’ve done that in my own series books), but not in a stand-alone. It just doesn’t fly.
3) It will keep you up reading, late into the night.
Now, honestly, it didn’t keep me awake. I was reading the book one night before I went to sleep. I was toward the end of the book, and I wanted to know what happened, I was just too tired to stay awake reading it anymore. So I went to sleep.
But I woke up just a few hours later (at one a.m.) just to finish the thing. I couldn’t stand not knowing the answers to all the questions. So, while it didn’t keep me up reading late into the night, it did WAKE me up in the middle of the night. To me, that’s just as good.
Melissa Foster is a fabulous storyteller, and she’s just an all around great person (not that I’ve ever met her in person–I’ve just interacted with her online). For the price (just $2.99…discounted at the time of this blog post to $.99), you can’t beat this read. Don’t miss it!
And, if you want to know more about Melissa Foster and Chasing Amanda, check out my interview with her.