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Saturday, March 28, 2009


**** Tribute by Nora Roberts. Romantic suspense.

*sigh* This is the problem with being ridiculously behind on reviews. I can remember the gist of my reaction to the book, and the basic plot, but I've forgotten the details. It's a good thing I recorded my rating immediately after reading, otherwise I'd have no clue what to give it.

Tribute is about ex-child star Cilla McGowan who's tired of the limelight and trying to make a quiet life for herself rehabbing and reselling ("flipping"--though for some reason, that term irritates the heck out of me) houses. But this house is for her: the "little farm" where her famous grandmother lived and died.

The official word is that her grandmother committed suicide, but not everyone believes that. When Cilla finds letters in the attic and it appears that someone is trying to make her leave, she becomes more and more convinced that it was murder.

So Cilla ends up trying to solve the mystery while building a life for herself and falling in love with her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer.

My memories from several months ago are of a fairly bland, predictable story with far too many details about the house rehab--rather than being blended into the story naturally, they're just stuck in there like segments from a how-to book.

Aside: I don't like to compare books--I prefer to judge each book on its own merits, how well it accomplishes what I think it set out to do--but to show you what I mean about the details, compare the details in Tribute with the details about Maggie Concannon's glass blowing in Born in Fire. In the earlier book, the glass blowing is described so well that you'd swear Nora had a glass workshop in her backyard and made glass art in her spare time, and yet it's never, ever intrusive. That's not the case in Tribute. Here, the details are intrusive, and they detract from the story. I'm not sure how better to describe it.

Anyway, my first impression was four stars, so I'm sticking with that. I just wish I could remember what I liked about it as well as I can what I disliked. Sorry about that.

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