Friday, January 19, 2018

Book Review - Mad Mouse (John Ceepak, Book 2) by Chris Grabenstein

I picked up the first book in the John Ceepak series, because it was on sale. I'd never heard of the author or book, but it sounded interesting. And I wasn't disappointed. It was a solid mystery with a few twists, had interesting characters, and was well written. What stuck out most was the casual pacing of the book, something I've never seen in this type of story.

Mad Mouse (John Ceepak, Book 2) by Chris Grabenstein is a mystery novel with a bit of romance and is the second in a series.

The Good

John Ceepak. John Ceepak is a main character, but he isn't the protagonist. This actually makes him more interesting, because you never get inside his head to see what he thinks. Instead you only see him how other characters see him, and that is up on a pedestal.

Motivation. Every crime needs a motivation behind it, and the motivation behind this one is pretty unique. It's a little weird, but believable and one I didn't see coming, at least not the specifics.

Pacing. This book has a pretty chilled, laid back pacing for a mystery, but it doesn't slow down the narrative or bore the reader. It gives it a unique vibe I don't find in most crime or mystery stories.

The Bad

Twist. Every great mystery has a great twist. The first part of the twist was great, but the second part was kind of out of left field and felt like a cheat. There were no clues, no indication what the complete final answer was, and it seemed like a really random thing to keep readers from guessing. I think the author could have done better.

Clich├ęs. Some of the characters, the reactions, and the speech patterns were bland cliches that sound like a teenage amateur trying to write like the big boys. The author should have pulled from more real life experience and less TV or books he's read.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I wish the twist had been better thought out and foreshadowed so it didn't feel like some random idea pulled out of left field to surprise the reader. It wasn't satisfying. It just barely made sense. It took away from an otherwise enjoyable read.


Mad Mouse (John Ceepak, Book 2) by Chris Grabenstein is an entertaining mystery with a laid back pace, interesting motivation, and almost successful twist that starts out great but pulls the rug out from under the reader with a strange, random answer that really doesn't fit the rest of the story. I give this book 4 out of 5 eReaders.


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