Review: Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith

Title:  Ali­son Won­der­land (Ama­zon, Goodreads)
Author:  Helen Smith (Ama­zon, Goodreads, Web­site)
Series: None
Pub­lisher: Ama­zon Encore
Genre: Mys­tery, Fic­tion
For­mat: Paper­back
Source: Author sent a copy for review.


After her hus­band leaves her for another woman, twen­tysome­thing Lon­doner Ali­son Tem­ple impul­sively applies for a job at the very P.I. firm she hired to trap her phi­lan­der­ing ex. She hopes it will be the change of scene she so des­per­ately needs to move on with her shat­tered life. At the all-​​female Fitzgerald’s Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion, she spends her days track­ing lost objects and her nights shad­ow­ing unfaith­ful hus­bands. But no mat­ter what the case, none of her clients can com­pare to the fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ters in her per­sonal life. There’s her boss, the estimable and tidy Mrs. Fitzger­ald; Taron, Alison’s eccen­tric best friend, who claims her mother is a witch; Jeff, her love-​​struck, poetry-​​writing neigh­bor; and—last but not least—her psy­chic post­man. Her rela­tion­ships with them all become entan­gled when she joins Taron for a road trip to the sea­side and stum­bles into a mis­ad­ven­ture of epic pro­por­tions! Clever, quirky, and infused with just a hint of magic, this humor­ous lit­er­ary novel intro­duces a mem­o­rable hero­ine strug­gling with the every­day com­plex­i­ties of mod­ern life.

My Review:

My first reac­tion when I fin­ished this book was ‘Huh?’  I wasn’t sure what I had just read or why.  The title intrigued me and if I had come across it in a store with the new cover I def­i­nitely would have picked it up myself.  How­ever, after read­ing this, I’m not sure if I should rec­om­mend it or not.

The char­ac­ters are def­i­nitely inter­est­ing.  Each char­ac­ter has its own quirks and adds to the story, but what is the story?  That seems to be the biggest ques­tion.  There is no real con­clu­sion to the story, nor is it writ­ten to lead to a sequel.  I feel as if Smith started with a great story and yet dis­tracted by ran­dom tan­gents along the way.  The ‘end’ with the sheep hybrid and the farmer who cares for it didn’t seem to fit in and feels like a gra­tu­itous ‘eww’ moment so there is some­thing mem­o­rable about the book.  Although it’s not mem­o­rable for a good reason.

I’m not sure who I would rec­om­mend this to, but if you’re expect­ing a lit­tle PI mys­tery mixed with some chick-​​lit like events, this is not the book for you.  I feel that Smith has a way with words and could write a won­der­ful book, per­haps her oth­ers are more like that, but this one just isn’t it.

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