Title: The Writing Class
Author: Jincy Willett
ISBN: 9780312330668, Thomas Dunne Books, 2008
Genre: Amateur Sleuth
First Line: Lumbers into class five minutes late, dragging, along with her yard-wide butt, a beat-up vinyl briefcase stuffed with old notebooks.
Amy Gallup used to be a contender. A published and award-winning writer at the age of twenty-two, she now exists by writing blurbs for other authors' books and by teaching creative writing classes for the local university's extension program. Her former life is gone: no career, no husband, just a grumpy, flatulent basset hound who barely tolerates her.
This semester's class is filled with the usual suspects: a doctor who wants to be the next Robin Cook, the enthusiastic repeat student, the slacker, the know-it-all, and so on. Amy's seen them all before. But when students start getting threatening phone calls in the middle of the night and frightening pranks pulled on them out in the parking lot, Amy knows that this class is different. When one of the students is murdered, the class bands together to discover who among them is the killer.
The Writing Class really didn't work as a mystery for me because it took very little thought to realize whom the killer had to be. The occasional chapters written from the killer's point of view were very jarring and pulled me out of the story instead of raising suspense. Where the book did succeed was with the character of Amy herself. She is very well-drawn and comes to life on the page as the details of her life unfold.
Another flash of brilliance was during the class lectures. There is a gold mine of writing tips contained in Amy's lectures, and the information is given in a very entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny style.
If you pick up this book wanting a strong, solid mystery, you may be in for disappointment. If you pick it up wanting a story about a truly involving character who just happens to give great advice on writing, you should enjoy The Writing Class.
My Book Rating Scale:
A+...Don't delay, get your hands on a copy of this book!
A...I loved it!
B...I really liked it.
C...I liked it, with a few reservations.
D...I finished it, but it's not my cup of tea.
- Phoenix, Arizona, United States
- Hi! I'm addicted to books (especially crime fiction), laughter and traveling off the beaten path. In my free time, when my eyes aren't glued to the printed page, one of them is usually pressed against the viewfinder of my camera. Let's see... books, laughter, travel, photography. Anything else? Oh yeah-- my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.