What Strange Creatures

What Strange Creatures - Emily Arsenault 3.5 star read

You wouldn't think a divorced doctoral student, her older unemployed brother, a former juvenile delinquent turned author turned college professor, a former Hare Krishna member cum bartender, and a waitress would have much in common (especially when the waitress winds up dead). Throw into the mix the life lessons learned from a 14th century holy woman (want-to-be saint and author of the first autobiography) and murder and you have the makings for what first sounds like a disaster. Amazingly enough, Ms. Arsenault has the ability to take all of these disparate subjects and people and bring forth a wonderfully engrossing mystery. Theresa Battle is in her mid-thirties, divorced with one dog and three cats. She's been working on her doctoral dissertation for more years that she wants to think about and the subject is Margery Kempe, a 14th century housewife and author of the first autobiography. (Is it really an autobiography if the person is dictating the story and can't read it for authenticity and editorial purposes?) Theresa's older brother, Jeff is unemployed and stands accused of murdering his girlfriend, Kim. In an effort to clear her brother's name, Theresa sets off on quest to find out what Kim was researching. This quest takes quite a few twists and turns along the way and the wisdom of Margery is what keeps Theresa going strong. I found all of the characters in What Strange Creatures to be a little quirky, bordering on eccentric, but it worked. There were a few times when I wasn't quite sure where the action was taking me, but again it worked. If you want to read a mystery that leaves you guessing until the very end, then What Strange Creatures is the book for you.