Encountered to Death (Jamie Brodie Mystery #5)

Encountered to Death (A Jamie Brodie Mystery) - Meg Perry

The Truth is Around Here Somewhere

 

First of all, the victim's name was Dixon Gill. Jamie is supposed to be a Trekkie, and a wannabe sleuth to boot, and yet not one mention of Dixon Hill in the entire book? Not one?! It's only one letter off. You disappoint me, Jamie. Shame on you. ;) Just needed to get that off my chest.

 

Anyway, there's something weirdly addicting about this series. It's not the most mind-blowing writing; pretty average actually. It's not the most gripping character development; the pacing is actually frustratingly realistically slow in that regard. But each new book presents a mystery of its own: How is Jamie going to get involved in yet another murder investigation? Why are the authorities going to require Jamie's research again because they can't seem to do their own jobs? (Really, Jamie should start charging for his time.) How does Jamie still have any friends willing to spend time with him when this many people keep showing up dead around him? 

 

I do typically like the mysteries. They're usually set in the academic world, which sets this series apart from most others out there, and aside from the first book, the whodunits haven't been too glaringly obvious. Here, Jamie and Pete arrive in New Mexico to visit Pete's brother, Steve (who we don't really get to spend much time with) to discover that a dead man was found in Steve's office after falling from the sky. Oh, and the victim is a host of a popular UFO show. And UFO enthusiasts are coming from all over the country...for reasons. 

 

I was getting close to skimming this one, right around the point where Jamie decides to do some research of his own, unsolicited of any authority figure, because the authorities (which include the state police, the FBI and the Air Force) are too busy trying to solve the mystery of Dixon Gill's death to, you know, solve his death by doing that silly little thing called research. And then he volunteers Pete and himself to go undercover with the UFO enthusiasts to get some leads that way and everyone's okay with this. Because apparently, between those three task forces, no one has anyone able to do that officially. And then a couple of the detectives on the case keep coming by Steve's house to chat about the case. But they're really good friends, so it's okay. Oh, and I did I mention that they have Jamie's 11-yr old nephew, Colin, with them while all this is going down? Great conversations to have around an 11-yr old, guys.

 

So I was getting seriously close to skimming around the halfway point, but like I said, there's something strangely addictive about the ridiculous series, so I kept reading. The mystery remained kind of ludicrous (Colin even solves it), but this was the first time I didn't want to alternately slap Jamie and/or Pete, so that's a bonus. We get a nice drama-free week in their love life, and that's refreshing. Plus, the redundancy of plot that's hampered the previous books is gone since everyone is on the same page with the investigation throughout the book.

 

But seriously: Dixon Gill, Dixon Hill. How was it not mentioned? After all the obvious X-Files references... No. I'm going to let this go.