Saturday, September 09, 2006

Burke's Irene Kelly series makes nice light reading

79. Remember Me, Irene, Jan Burke. Mystery, 9-2, p. 303

I’ve been a fan of Jan Burke’s Irene Kelly series since reading Bones in 2000. Kelly is a reporter, married to a cop. She has a sister, two dogs and a cat. Invariably her work as a reporter leads her into mystery and intrigue. In the dozen years I was a reporter and editor I never solved a single murder and I’ve never known a colleague to do so either. Nor was I ever stalked by mad man (or woman for that matter), kidnapped or held hostage.

So Irene’s fictional career is far most interesting than the work-a-day world of most journalists. That’s OK because Burke’s novels are wonderfully entertaining. Kelly is a vibrant, spunky character and Burke does a fine job in bringing her and her cast of supporting characters to life.

The mysteries are not extraordinarily complex. Most often it’s not about whodunit or why (that’s usually clear early on), but how Irene will extricate herself from danger. This reader is grateful that Irene’s been successful through nine novels.

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