Monday, April 5, 2010
Secret Sisters by Tristi Pinkston - Book Review
For a light, comedic mystery, you can try Secret Sisters by LDS author, Tristi Pinkston.
In an effort to help Bishop Sylvester reduce his stress level and his blood pressure, Ida Mae Babbit, the president of the Omni 2nd Ward Relief Society, suggests the group attempt to handle any slight problems that come to their attention--without mentioning this little tidbit to the bishop, of course.
When the women of the Relief Society discuss how they could help one family who might be in need, their "attempt to handle any slight problems that come to their attention" blossoms into an amateur attempt at detective work. With the help of her counselors, Arlette and Tansy, and some technological expertise from her nephew, Ren, Ida Mae and the Secret Sisters uncover a mystery, while still managing to assist other families under their care.
Just another day's work for this Relief Society.
In this first book of The Secret Sisters Mysteries, LDS author Tristi Pinkston creates a light and funny mystery with characters you'll soon come to love.
The reader is treated to the hardworking Ida Mae who seems to be busy taking care of everyone but herself; Arlette, who is always knitting socks in outrageous colors; Tansy, whose amazing ability makes her able to help people without them realizing they are being helped; and Ren, Ida's quirky nephew, whose ability to invent neat gizmos and gadgets provides quite useful.
These women, Ren, and the secondary characters blend well with each other. Ida is an engaging character, whose point of view carries the reader through the book. In less than 300 pages, the reader learns a great deal about Ida, but Pinkston does an excellent job of gradually sprinkling in the backstory, so that it doesn't distract from the present day happenings. And this book, while comedic in nature, gives the reader a good look into the workings of a relief society.
While I truly enjoyed this cast of characters, I felt more emphasis was placed on the daily workings of the Relief Society than on solving the mystery--at least until the final few chapters when things started coming together. Now, it seems that this could be the author's intent, but even though I've read more than one cozy mystery, this is something that stuck out to me. There was a lot going on outside of the mystery, and every once in a while I felt the focus was lost.
Now, that definitely isn't going to stop me from reading the next book in this series when it comes out; a sneak preview, of which, appears at the end of Secret Sisters. I want to see what Ida, Arlette, and Tansy get themselves into next time, and what Ren will invent to help them along. I would also like to see more of Hannah, whose involvement in the Relief Society was limited when she needed to tend to her own family.
Overall, this is a book that I didn't want to put down once I opened it. It is an enjoyable, quick read.
Title: Secret Sisters
Author: Tristi Pinkston
Publisher: Valor Publishing Group