Saturday, August 11, 2012

Murder in Need of a Proofreader

Murder Most Frothy (Coffeehouse Mystery, #4)Murder Most Frothy by Cleo Coyle
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Okay. I like coffee. I like mysteries, and I don't expect them to be great works of literature except in exceptional circumstances. I like the main character of this series, and the plot was okay. But.

I do expect someone to have edited these books before they're published. Even the mass-market paperbacks. Even the cozy mysteries.  Especially the books of a "national bestselling author" being published by a division of Penguin Publishing.  Please, could you put 0.00001% of your profits toward hiring someone like me to read your books before you publish them?

Why? Well... I've gathered a few examples.
  • Page 4 [the first page of chapter one!]: "sterling-sliver serving trays overflowed with flutes of obscenely expensive champagne"
  • Page 9: "Out here, sterling sliver serving trays . . . overflowed with seemingly endless rounds of seafood canapes"
Gotta love how the "sliver" is consistent but the hyphenation is not.  Also, apparently trays overflow.  That's just what they do.  Every time.

But seriously, Cleo, put "sliver" on your list of Ctrl-F's to check before publication.  I do it with "pubic" and "trail" when I write legal briefs, because hey, spellcheck doesn't know that I meant "public" and "trial," but I do.  And, importantly, I would be embarrassed if I accidentally argued that a trail for my client would be against pubic interest.  You also should be embarrassed to have sliver serving trays in your book -- twice!
  • Page 17: "I believe he's been shirking work every since!"
I shirk work every since I get, too.
  • Page 68: "Millions of dollars and thousands of employees livelihoods are at stake."
I know it's just a missing apostrophe, but it is still ungrammatical and irritating.  There's also a reference to some "ex-Masaad" agents on the same page.  I think she meant "ex-Mossad," since that's how it was spelled earlier in the book, and, you know, the Mossad is actually a real thing.   Even spellcheck should have caught that one, no?
  • Page 140: "I invited David here tonight . . . to wheedle an invitation to sample his dessert parings for myself."
I am pretty sure David does not serve apple peels and potato skins for dessert.
  • Page 241 (during the big "I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!" speech): "Jim snorted. 'You give me undo credit, pal.'"
Argh.  I actually snorted myself, in due disbelief.


Anonymous said...

Okay, you should feel special. I'm reading your posts instead of looking at sliver rings and sliver earrings.
Now I want to start a blog again. I'm clearly too damn funny for my own good. So I will share my humor with others. I expect you to bookmark mine ;)

Reader One said...

You may have to stop commenting anonymously if you expect me to know which blog is yours...

Lauren said...

Bloody frickin hilarious! Rofl seriously this is a bit of comic genius