Goodreads Review: Dead(ish)

DEAD[ish] (DEAD[ish] #1)DEAD[ish] by Naomi Kramer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not really sure what to say about Dead(ish); I almost feel bad giving it the score I did. There’s things to like here; the concept is amusing (for the short form, girl gets murdered by boyfriend, hires a P.I. to help find her body, wacky hijinks ensue), the writing style and voice are clear and entertaining, and the technical aspects of the work are well done.

Why only two stars, then? Primarily because it feels disjointed, and a trifle incomplete. Scenes just sort of happen, with little rhyme or reason. There’s one point that the dead woman is “teasing” the PI in the shower, seemingly with no better explanation than “because reasons!” There’s several sequences featuring an almost painfully flaming gay man that, while perhaps funny, seem almost ridiculously overblown when compared to the relative down-to-earth tropes and characterization of the other players. The boyfriend-slash-murderer also manages to land himself in the unbelievable category, apparently having a secret gay side, huge amounts of debts and bizarre culinary skills that are never explained and clash with the manner of presentation.

Overall, I think it’s the illogic of the thing that bothered me the most. To me, for something to be humorous – which Dead(ish) seems to be attempting – it has to make sense, by it’s own rules and logic if by no other judgement… and Dead(ish) seems to fall short on that score. With a bit more content – filling in some of the blank spots, detailing the character motivations and backgrounds a bit more – I’d say there’s enough spark here to warrant at least 3 and perhaps a 4 star rating. But it’s not quite there, yet.

Also, final warning – and one that’s echoed on Amazon’s page – but there’s a boatload of foul language and obscure Aussie slang in here, so be prepared if such things are not on your “okay” list, or be prepared to do some websearching to sort out the slang.

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