So today I have for you a review of Skating on the Edge by Joelle Charbonneau and then I have an interview with her.
I have not yet read a Rebecca Robbins novel and I actually was not aware that this was actually the third book in the series until I started to write this review and while this would normally bug me, I am glad to report that not reading the first two didn’t stop me from enjoying the novel. Unknown to me, I may have enjoyed it more with the background of the previous novels but these books are set out very much like crime television programmes where there is a cut and closed case each time and therefore readers are able to pick up and put down where they wish to. I know for certain that I will now be going out and getting a hold of the first two books in the series as I really want to read more about Rebecca Robbins!
It is Set
Rebecca has moved back to the small town – village – where she grew up in Indian Falls and it is here that she owns and works at the local roller-skating rink. Indian Falls is a quiet town – or it usually is – so when a murder happens in plain sight, its residents are shocked. Of course, no one actually knows who the culprit is. Feeling the need to solve the mystery – and to save her own skin – Rebecca starts to investigate the murder. I loved Indian Falls. It was such a funny place to be and the character of the place was just brilliant. I could picture the type of area that it was set in real life and that really helped to hook me into the story. It may not have been a place I would love to spend my time but it certainly was a lively little town. Joelle has really managed to capture this place really well.
Everyone is Ready
Oh for the love of characters! This book, and I’m guessing the series, is not without its brilliant, energetic and enthusiastic characters. Taking from the setting, it is bound by natural laws – probably – that such places are full of wild and wacky characters and Skating on the Edge has them by the truckload. Everyone was quirky in their own little ways and it is totally possible to see how everyone sticks together and pulls through. I really liked how the characters interacted with each other and the odd sub-plots and background bits of information that were thrown in here and there. It really helped to make the story more entertaining and engaging.
Rebecca took a while for me to like. At first I couldn’t figure her out and it really annoyed me but I kept going and soon I realised I was with her one hundred percent and was gasping when things happened and edging her on. Without even acknowledging it, this character became someone that I admired and really liked reading about. She was a strong female character who had her flaws but really just wanted to do what was right for herself and the town. She never gave up, even when she was hurt and scared. She had motivation that many people dream about. Other great characters that I adored included Deputy Sean Holmes, Pops, Erica and Lionel. Each for many different reasons but they all really helped to bring the story alive.
So Let’s Solve
If the town and the characters are anything to go by, it would only be fair for the plot to be wacky and wild also and it definitely was. With so many different things going on, with loose ends leading to more loose ends before everything eventually gets tied together and sorted, this book is not without things to keep a reader interested and prepared. It was an engaging read that was really entertaining and fun – while also bringing forth a bit of mystery and romance too. The plot was just really interesting and compelling, I had to keep reading to know exactly what was going to happen next and to simply know who was behind everything.
The Last Piece
Overall this book was really enjoyable. At first I found it a bit difficult to get into because of my quarrel with Rebecca’s character but once I got passed that, it was simply an easy read that kept me entertained. The characters helped to bring the tone of the book up, and when one is writing about crime it must be difficult to keep moods high. I found myself laughing out loud a fair few times, grinning like an idiot at others and then screaming silly things at the characters at others. It was fully engaging and completely engrossing and is a book that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun, interesting or mysterious read. I would, however, probably recommend that they read the first two books in the series first!
** I received this book in return for and honest review **
Hello Joelle and welcome to A Daydreamer’s Thoughts!
Skating on the Edge and Murder for Choir both involve strong female characters who take their own initiative to solve the crimes surrounding them. Is there a reason behind this style of writing within the crime genre?Crime fiction, and in my case amateur sleuth crime fiction, requires strong characters in order to make the story work. It does take a special kind of person to look a crime and think “I can help solve that”. I admit, I’m thrilled strong female characters have found a place in crime fiction and hope that they show young women that being assertive isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
There are a fair few characters in Skating on the Edge, but can you tell us which one of them is your favourite and why?
This is such a tough question. Well, until this book, my favourite character to write was Pop. He is fun, feisty and willing to try anything. The derby girls have also been a blast to write. However, most surprising is my fondness for Deputy Sean Holmes. He has grown a great deal during the series and I am dying to see how he continues to evolve.
Every author has a different place that they write, or even a different method of writing, where do you go when you’re writing your novels?
My living room chair. Since I have a four year old, a great deal of my every day e-mailing is done with him racing around. When he naps (and thank God he still naps), I sit in the living room chair, break out the laptop and write. Some day, hopefully soon, we’ll move into a place where I have an office with a door. Until then, I’m located near enough to the kitchen to snag caffeine when necessary and close enough to my son’s room to hear when he wakes up.
From my own experience, I acknowledge that writing crime can take a lot of time to research and plan and plot, do you always plan extensively before you start writing or do you plot as you write or do you simply just write?
Plot? What’s that? I’m only half kidding. I love the concept of outlines, but I have yet to write a book that can follow a preconceived plan. More often than not, I come up with an idea for the crime, figure out how the first chapter ends, jot down a few notes about what I think might happen in the book and then start writing. Whenever I get stuck, I look back at the notes I jotted down in the hopes that something on that page will jumpstart me. It’s kind of a scary process since I don’t know what is coming next, but it’s fun when the twists and turns surprise me as much as the reader.
As a crime writer, do you often read other crime fiction stories? If yes, who is your favourite crime author – at the moment?
Sadly, this whole writing thing has really cut into my reading time. However, I do love crime fiction stories. In fact, my shelves are bursting with them. One of my all time favourite writers is Harlan Coben. His Myron Bolitar series has both wit and suspense and his stand-alone thrillers are amazing page turners. If you haven’t given his books a whirl, I urge you to pick one up. You won’t be disappointed.
When you’re not writing away or plotting or coming up with new ideas, how do you like to spend your time?
Hmmm…with a four year old around and 4 books to write this year, there isn’t a lot of time for frolicking. However, I love to watch sports (Go Bears) and I adore cooking and watching Food Network. I’m also a fan of spending time with my son, my husband and the rest of my family no matter what activity we are participating in.