Friday Forgotten: The Happy Birthday Murder by Lee Harris

The Happy Birthday Murder by Lee Harris, mystery, a Fawcett Book published by Ballantine Publishing Group © 2002. Christine Bennett Mysteries number 14. Edition read: ebook.

I’d not read any of this series, and picked this book solely because of the title. You see, today, Friday, is my birthday, so I thought something with the word “birthday” in the title would be appropriate. 

There are cozies, and cozies. Agatha Christie wrote cozies, and most would say Dorothy Sayers books are, and Chesterton’s Father Brown Stories, and many others. Mostly, anything not hard-boiled, or thriller, or dark and gritty, or serial killer might be labeled as a cozy by many.

This book is certainly a cozy, any violence is off stage. Characters are amateurs, setting is emphasized, but this book is what I’d call “cozy light”.

In this fourteenth of the series, Christine Bennett investigates 2 separate deaths that occurred within days of each other 12 years ago. Bennett learned of these deaths, by sorting through boxes filled with momentoes of her late aunt. Thinking her aunt had gone especially out of her way regards notes to the bereaved, Bennett wanted to meet those people. In talking with them, she discovered a small clue not noticed by the police twelve years ago: the two victims shoes had been switched, thus tying the deaths together.

What began to bother me about the book was the role Bennett plays in it. She’s a teacher, yet acts and functions as if she were a licensed detective, which she is most definitely not.

It seemed to me there was a lot of filler, and lot of talk without action, a lot of telling instead of showing. I finished the book, but I think I might have done a better job of choosing a birthday-themed book.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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13 Responses to Friday Forgotten: The Happy Birthday Murder by Lee Harris

  1. tracybham says:

    Happy birthday, Rick. I hope it was a nice one. I wish I could think of a good birthday themed mystery.

    I have read one of this series, and I thought it was OK, but I had no desire to continue reading them. My birthday is coming soonish and I am taking a couple of days off from work and really looking forward to it.

    • It’s today, Friday, and I’ve only just had coffee, so the “celebration”, such as it is, has yet to begin. I’ll open my 2 presents and spend the day reading until dinner, after which we may watch the last part of the Series.

  2. Belated Happy Birthday, Richard! I’d never heard of Lee Harris until now and I’m already taken in by the cover of this book.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Hey, Happy Birthday! That was one day after our Anniversary.

    Funny, when I saw the cover I thought you’d picked it for Halloween. I remember Lee Harris from mystery conventions, but never read one of her books either. As I recall, in the first book (THE GOOD FRIDAY MURDERS) Bennett had just left her life as a nun.

  4. Rick – I like your label, “cozy light.”

  5. Happy Birthday! May you enjoy many more!

  6. Todd Mason says:

    Happy belated, Rick! Do the cake and candy tend to have been intertwined in the past? Perhaps a light novel thus sums up the season a bit…

  7. Frank Denton says:

    Belated happy birthday! Hope it was a good one. And many more.

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