You know the concept of hate-reading? I tend to not hate-read much (who has the time? Plus, I at one stage I was hate-reading so much I almost disconnected my right eye by rolling it too much*). However, my exception to the rule has always been Maggie Sefton's Lambspun series. This series of books are so bad! The characters are basically cardboard cutouts that are given really terri;e dialogue, the dialogue is awful (all of the characters sound exactly the same) and the books are so repetitious that about 90% of the story could cut with no noticeable effect on our understanding of the plot. But I keep reading them, bitch about how terrible they are, then put a reserve on the next one as soon as it arrives at the library.
BUT NO MORE! 2015's Lambspun mystery, Purl Up and Die, is officially my last. The novel opens as Kelly goes across the street to work in the yarn store (guys, Kelly likes to work on spreadsheets at the yarn store). She orders an ice coffee (guys, it's hot in Colorado in summer AND Kelly likes coffee). Then a woman who is not in the main group comes into the yarn shop. Because Sefton only introduces two new characters per book, this woman will either be murdered or be the murderer. The only mystery is which one it is. Kelly, who is the literary equivalent to the chewing gum that gets stuck on the sole of your favourite pair of runners, sits in on a class without paying the teacher for it, causes a disruption for the other attendees who actually paid, then leaves.
Next, Kelly goes and visits her client, who is apparently a successful businessman. Not according to this dialogue:
The buzzer on Arthur's phone system sounded. "Oops, that's my secretary. Reminding me that my next appointment is here."
Kelly drained the last of the coffee and gathered her portfolio into her briefcase bag. "I'd best get back, anyway. You're in good shape, Arthur. So now I need to see what Don Warner and company have waiting for me."
While Arthur may be playing a professional businessman, it is more than clear a professional editor never went near these pages. For starters, one doesn't gather a portfolio into a bag - one either gathers a portfolio and places it in a bag or just simply places it there without gathering it first (also, not briefcase bag but either briefcase or bag - briefcase is a noun not an adjective). Additionally, who says "oops" when a buzzer goes? How can you be reminded of something you haven't been told about in the first place? Why are these people speaking in single-clause sentences? It is all so, so bad.
A few pages later, Kelly's boyfriend "smiled into her eyes" (you smile AT someone, not into random physical features), and I was out. Done. Finito. All over.
There's bad which is fun to read and play with and then there's work that is so excrutiatingly bad that you feel bad for the author, publishing house and anyone who has their name attached to the book. The Lambspun series has now reached that point and I am done with it. HereIRead out.
*Not a true story. However, more believable than any of Maggie Sefton's bestselling novels.