Today, I intended to review a book from my backlog – six are left from March-May – but I read faster than I write.
Rather than add another book to my backlog and forget its essence, here’s my thoughts fresh from my head.
The Frame-Up (The Golden Arrow #1)
By day she writes
comic books. By night, she lives them.
MG Martin lives and breathes geek culture. She even works as a writer for the comic book company she idolized as a kid. But despite her love of hooded vigilantes, MG prefers her comics stay on the page.
But when someone in LA starts recreating crime scenes from her favorite comic book, MG is the LAPD’s best—and only—lead. She recognizes the golden arrow left at the scene as the calling card of her favorite comic book hero. The thing is…superheroes aren’t real. Are they?
When the too-handsome-for-his-own-good Detective Kildaire asks for her comic book expertise, MG is more than up for the adventure. Unfortunately, MG has a teeny little tendency to not follow rules. And her off-the-books sleuthing may land her in a world of trouble.
Because for every superhero, there is a supervillain. And the villain of her story may be closer than she thinks…
Review 4.4 stars
The blurb sparked my interest – even if my comic reading days are behind me; well, some months I gaze at one on my Kindle. I still find room for geek culture so in that respect I was not disappointed. In fact, I was nodding my head throughout, smiling at the references to superheroes and shows I knew.
Some I didn’t, but no matter as the plot kept me reading and wanting super-reveals. MG was amusingly quirky, and her detective distraction, the cute but tough Matteo Kildaire, was not the dumb policeman of too many cozy mysteries.
I’ve stopped reading cozies for that reason – reckless sleuths and stupid police. This was different – even though MG had a reckless streak to her sleuthing. But she made up in other aspects – and Matteo gave her the justification – as far as MG was concerned. The police need her to resolve a crime with possible comic connections – golden arrows.
However, MG can be irritating in her willingness to trust some people not others – when she has made specific observations. Avoiding a spoiler so just saying.
The supporting roles are a mix of fun characters, questionable colleagues, and shadowy suspects. Who will the real superhero prove to be? Who is the supervillain that could be one step ahead of MG and Matteo?
Someone that knows more about comics than Matteo?
Detective Kildaire has some amusing encounters with the Geekdom that MG inhabits, from a Sorting Hat to a Star Wars movie marathon – building a world around a culture that comes over as well-portrayed. Add in the wonderful drag queen who might or might not be The Golden Arrow and the plotline shimmers. That superhero/vigilante identity kept me wondering. Who can pull this off?
The Comic Con and costumes climax is neatly worked in – all the right seeds sown. Satisfying ending to a fun novel that earns four stars plus.
Story – four stars
Setting/World-building – five stars
Characters – five stars
Authenticity – four stars
Structure – four stars
Readability – five stars
Editing – four stars