DiscoverMystery & Crime

A Woman To Blame


Not for me 😔

Panettiere could captivate more readers by focusing his attention on the case instead of deflating the mystery with inconsequential details.

What makes a good murder mystery? Does it need to have multiple murders? Check. Does it need to have unpredictability? Debatable. It just depends on the author's writing style and whether they are able to engage the reader even after we know who did what. Does it need to have romance? Probably not, but it may be a bonus if worked in correctly. Panettiere has a murder mystery that takes a while to get kick-started, but once it does... readers will run through all of the aforementioned elements to formulate their own hypothesis of what makes a good murder mystery.

A woman swerves on an icy road into a tree, ending her life. A headless man winds up in the local school's pool. A racehorse in peak condition falls over dead after a big race. That horse's trainer who has no reason for wanting to die, commits suicide on the beach that very same day. There are too many coincidences and loose ends, but not enough people who actually care about the truth like police officer Mike Hegan does. With a determination to find out what is really going on, he may not be prepared to handle it once he finds out some heavy hitters may be involved. Everyone seems to know exactly why bodies keep turning up, but no one wants to talk when it might mean their death next. The only one that seems to want answers just as much as Hegan does is the trainer's sister, Portia. While recovering from a gunshot wound, Hegan decides that he may be better off by enlisting her help instead of fighting her off every step of the way, even though he could get into trouble for it... or worse.

Panettiere could captivate more readers by focusing his attention on the case instead of deflating the mystery with inconsequential details. While reading this novel, it is blatantly obvious that there is an absence of an investigation going on until the reader reaches well over a hundred pages. This is not a good start for a murder mystery, since most begin with the murder actually taking place, or detectives and police on the scene. The reader will either be bored or depressed by the police officer's personal life before reaching what the actual story is truly about. This is something that can be easily remedied by taking the huge chunk of text from the beginning out and slowly working it back into the story and adding more detail about what was done to try and identify the headless man. Either way, completing at least one of these suggestions is good practice if the author really wants a book that is well defined and catches the reader's attention. A back story and character development is great, but too much can overpower a story. Also, there are so many spelling and grammatical errors that it makes it difficult to enjoy the story. Big words appear in small sentences, and sometimes it is the wrong one. There is a lot of filler that does not appear to have anything to do with the story, and some of the characters and their actions do not appear credible. Scenes are artificial and thrown together which reflects that research was not thoroughly completed. For instance, the budding romance is completely unprofessional from the beginning, with immature quips and a lack of respect for Hegan's position of power. This can give the reader a negative outlook on the main character, especially if he is supposed to be the "good guy". It is recommended for the the author to go back and rework this story as there is a lot to be desired, which drives us to provide A Woman to Blame with a two-star rating.

An electronic copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by Reedsy Discovery and in no way affects the honesty of this review.

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Turning Another Page is a small web-based business, owned and operated out of San Antonio, Texas. Originally created as an official book blog in November 2014, Turning Another Page has successfully grown to encompass services that can be offered to authors worldwide.


About the author

A Woman to Blame, re-release, is the first novel written by Vincent Panettiere. His second was the award-winning and critically acclaimed These Thy Gifts; followed by The Scopas Factor. He has also written a non-fiction book. The Internet Financing Illusion, a look at the dark side of the internet. view profile

Published on September 09, 2019

Published by

120000 words

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by