Oblivious by Cyndia Depre

"Unfortunately, murder is like an onion, with layers and layers." Not only is murder like an onion, but so are the characters and story portrayed in this wonderful book by Cyndia Depre.

I have to admit a part of me was initially intrigued by this book because it was set in a small town in Wisconsin. Coming from a small town in Wisconsin myself I was delighted as I read the quirks and nuances indicative of small town living, especially in the Midwest.

I must admit upon being introduced to the main character, Olivia Chatham, I was a little unsure on whether I was going to like her. She seemed a little flighty and her grasp of colloquialisms was so muddled it was hard to catch her meaning. But, as the book unfolded I grew to love her just as the entire town does, and her quirkiness makes her so believable and I found myself looking forward to her being "unique in her oneness".

When Cheryl Mecklenberg is found murdered, the whole town is buzzing with rumors. Seeing as how Olivia is so well liked, and people open up to her, the Sheriff decides to ask her to keep him abreast of any information she comes across that may help him determine what has happened. To Livvy, this is her chance to do something big, after all the town is counting on her. The Sheriff on the other hand may end up regretting what he considered and innocent request.

Livvy enlists the help of Josephine "Josie" Bookman, an ex-model and her best friend, and Tucker Monroe, the newest resident of Chatham and still somewhat of a mystery himself. With Livvy leading the way, this trio gets information in ways that would make any detective proud. They finally narrow their suspects down through Livvy's unique sense of logic and instinct. Even though it seems unconventional at the time, it ends up being the same suspects the police derive using "real" police techniques. In the end all of their hard work pays off and once again Livvy is looked upon with pride by the people of Chatham.

This book was a delightful read with an excellent plot and characters so real and diverse you couldn't help being drawn to them. I am thankful that the author has allowed me this opportunity as I know I will anxiously await further books.

Questions for the author:
I see you live in Minnesota. Did you grow up in or live in a small town? Is that how you created the atmosphere for your book?

I've lived in small towns, big cities, and every place in between. I went to high school in Yorkville, Illinois. Not a big city by any stretch of the imagination. I went to NIU in DeKalb and got an accounting degree. When I was younger, I loved cities. There was so much to do! The older I get, the more I appreciate small towns. I don't need to go out. I can get a movie and curl up in front of the tv in my pajamas and have fun. A day on the lake, fishing from our old boat, is my idea of heaven. I've never lived in Wisconsin, but travel through it several times a year. My family, and my husband's, live in Illinois and we are in Minnesota. Wisconsin is a breathtakingly beautiful state. The people are so nice, with a live and let live attitude. We always try to allow extra time for the trip, and stop for a night in Tomah. It's such a treat! We go to a wonderful restaurant, eat good food, then go to the bar for an after dinner drink. Folks always have a smile for us, and we end up chatting with other customers as if we've known each other for years. If we have a couple days, we go to the Dells. We hope to retire in Wisconsin. Our needs aren't fancy. Just a nice normal house on a lake, close to a town where people actually care for each other. Chatham, Wisconsin, is completely fictional, but it lives in my mind and that's where I want to spend my golden years. I just need to find a place like it.

How did you continue to come up with Olivia's mixed up cliche's and malapropisms (they really cracked me up)?

I thought it would be impossible to maintain Olivia's gaffes, but I was wrong. It turned out to be a snap. I still think of them, and have a file filled with what I call 'Livvy-isms'. At the risk of sounding too artsy, I just got into Olivia's head (which is a very happy place to be), and the mangled phrases started flying. The world can seem so scary at times, but it's also extremely funny. It's just how you look at things. Livvy looks at events from a different perspective, and thinking like her helped open me up to the silliness I see and hear every day.

Any book involving these characters in the future (I hope, I hope)?

I have to find a place for my new 'Livvy-isms', so yes, I'm working on another. It will introduce a new pair of protagonists, but Livvy and Tucker and Josie will be there, too. It's a murder mystery, but there is no body. Olivia is the only one convinced someone is dead. She pays no attention to the naysayers, and sets about finding the victim and nabbing the ne'er-do-well who committed the heinous crime.

To purchase a copy of this book please visit www.cyndiadepre.com



Kathleen said...

Lol just gotta say that the live traffic feed is inaccurate!! I live in camden county, NJ, but most certainly not in Camden!!

SmallWorld Reads said...

Nice review! I like hearing from the author. Makes me want to interview the author of the book I'm reading now.