Quickie Review: Goodnight Irene by Jan Burke

Format: Mass Market
Pub Date: 1993
Publisher: Pocket (Simon and Schuster)
FTC: Personal library

This is an oldie but goodie mystery that sits on my keeper shelf. Originally published in 1993, Goodnight, Irene introduces Irene Kelly, a former journalist with a sharp wit and a penchant for trouble.

This book has everything wonderful about the amateur sleuth subgenre of mysteries: first person narration, funny one-liners, a sometimes abrasive lead character, a hot guy and a very, very good plot.

There's something wonderful about Burke's writing. There's a simplicity to it that just makes the narrative flow, and the characters are so well developed that they become real almost instantly.There's also some lovely chemistry between Irene and Detective Frank Harriman, too, which appeals to the romance fan in me. I love how Irene never ventures into the TSTL* category and that Frank treats her as an equal.

This isn't a forensic mystery, so the gore is kept to the minimum. There's some gruesome stuff, people are dying after all, but it's not too descriptive or icky. This is a very dialogue-heavy book, which is likely the reason it reads so quickly.

Goodnight, Irene is the first of a series, and I've loved every one that followed. I hope you do, too.

*TSTL=Too Stupid To Live

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