Sink Trap: 04/07/13
Sink Trap by Christy Evans is the first of the Georgina Neverall mystery series. Set in Oregon, it follows an apprentice plumber (and washout of the dot-com madness) as she tries to solve mysteries in her spare time.
There's a real estate boom going on in her town. She and her boss have been hired to fix up an old commercial building and the home of a the town's former librarian who everyone believes has moved out of state. That is until Georgiana finds the librarian's favorite brooch clogging a sink.
Now from here on it's a pretty standard cosy mystery. The character and her shtick have been introduced. Her supporting characters, her town, and the potential murderers have been paraded by.
From this point on two things have to mesh to make the mystery work: the mystery has to balance clues vs. surprise to keep the reader guessing and the characters and their reactions to situations have be plausible. Those that aren't, need to be explained to some degree of satisfaction.
It's the latter that feel apart for me. First and foremost, the missing librarian is well off financially. Library jobs can pay handsomely but not in the sort of amounts this librarian must have been making. Without a proper explanation (even a tossed in line or two), I'm left wondering why she is the way she is. Her status as a librarian was to mark her as harmless and perhaps an easy victim. But to make the crime worth committing, she also had be wealthy. Thus the mystery hinges on a mix and match set of character attributes without the necessary fleshing out.