Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Nutcase by Charlotte Hughes. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.
Jove (Mass Market Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-515-14593-9 (0515145939)
ISBN-13: 978-0-515-14593-9 (9780515145939)
Publication Date: February 2009
List Price: $7.99
Review: Everyone has days where it seems like everyone in their life is crazy. Unfortunately for Kate Holly, sometimes they actually are. It doesn’t help that she’s a therapist who can’t seem to turn away patients, no matter how potentially dangerous, but Kate seems to attract crazy people. From the transgender ex-marine her mother has taken in, to the old woman who promises to cure her dog of depression, Kate’s life is full of madness. And this doesn’t even factor in her exploded office, lecherous ex, estranged firefighter husband, overwhelming family, and the spate of arsons that are the talk of the town!
Charlotte Hughes has created a thoroughly engaging work of madcap fiction in Nutcase. It is fast paced, easy to read, written with a strong voice and a good sense of humor. The plotting is somewhat scattered, with characters and their conflicts moving in and out of the novel’s focus. This creates a thoroughly lively and entertaining story that is almost impossible to put down. My only complaint is that the work seems to focus in on what seems to be the central mystery somewhat belatedly, making this less a classic detective-style work than a funny novel with elements of mystery worked in.
Hughes’ strength is clearly her characters, and their strong voices are convincing and extremely funny. The plot is likewise strongly character driven, focusing on the humorous and ever-changing relationships between the numerous characters. Sometimes, however, things can feel a little over the top. Dialogue occasionally reads like a sitcom rather than a novel, and realism is sometimes sacrificed for humor, making the characters less deep then they might be. However, most readers will find it easy to get into the light-hearted spirit of the work, and will enjoy it for the fun an intensely engaging novel that it is!
Special thanks to Rebecca Henderson for contributing her review of Nutcase and to Charlotte Hughes for providing a copy of the book for the review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Rebecca Henderson — All Rights Reserved — Reprinted with Permission
If you are interested in purchasing Nutcase from Amazon.com, please click the button to the right. Nutcase (Kindle edition) is also available. Learn more about the Kindle, Amazon's Wireless Reading Device.
Synopsis (from the publisher): The life of a psychologist is enough to drive anyone nuts …
Ever since she blew up her own office with nitroglycerin (she was sure the patient was bluffing -- until the vial exploded), psychologist Kate Holly has been one step away from going off her rocker. It doesn’t help that she’s still in love with her firefighter ex-husband. They both want to patch things up, but Kate has been using sex to avoid talking, and he wants to know; is there something she is not telling him?
Well yes, there is. Kate is about to get evicted from her office, and her best option may be to share space with her hot tub-loving ex-boyfriend, Dr. Thad Glazer. With her oddball patients, her meddling mother, and her eccentric secretary thrown into the mix -- not to mention a spate of suspicious fires- will Kate put her life back together before she ends up in a padded cell?
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