Book Review: "Fatal Deduction" by Gayle Roper

Twin sisters Libby and Tori have never been close---so when they're forced to share an old house as they await their Aunt Stella's inheritance, neither is thrilled. Then an unexpected visitor changes everything: a corpse clutching a crossword full of deadly messages! Can they work together to solve the puzzle before time runs out?

Stories about sisters never seem to grow old especially with twins sisters who the polar opposite with each other. This book features that storyline but with an added twist of a corpse! It's not all happy times for twins Libby and Tori as they are forced to live in the same house in order to receive their inheritance. The two are as different as night and day and the distance throughout the years has made the gap between them almost uncrossable. I felt sorry for Libby throughout the entire book and the way her entire family treated her. I honestly wanted to smack her mother, grandmother and even her sister at times for being so mean to her. The way she took things in stride really amazed me. I was glad that her own daughter did not feel the same way as the rest of her family.

I was a bit worried at first that Libby and Drew's relationship would go in the way of the stereotypical Christian story that involves a divorce but was gladly mistaken. In fact Drew's whole relationship with his ex wife was really fairly refreshing. I'm glad that she was portrayed the way she was and that the whole situation was even discussed. Being bi-polar is something that is not mentioned very much in Christian fiction so how it was presented in this book was realistic and a good way for readers to be aware and knowledgeable of the subject.

There were two qualms I had with the book. The first was the use of the crossword puzzles themselves. The full unanswered puzzles are displayed in the book as how Libby might have seen them. Maybe I'm just weird or lazy, but I wasn't sure if I was supposed to do the puzzle myself to figure out the clues. As it was, I skipped over them and just kept reading to see if anyone else figured them out. I'm not sure really what the purpose was of having them there. It's a unique concept but I was confused if it was supposed to be more interactive for the reader or just artistic design. The other qualm I had was Tori's character. This is mainly due to the fact that I felt her story is never fully resolved or really developed. The ending with her left me quite unsatisfied and unless there's another book involving her, I felt her character to be incomplete.

Other than this, I enjoyed the story. It has a good mystery and for fans of crossword puzzles, it is a unique way to bring about the clues. I've always been a fan of Gayle's other books so it was a delight to see her return to the mystery genre. Hopefully there will be more of these kinds of books in the future.

Fatal Deduction by Gayle Roper is published by Multnomah (2008)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


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