Book Review: To Write a Wrong by Jen Turano (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency #2)

About the Book-

Miss Daphne Beekman is a mystery writer by day, inquiry agent by night. Known for her ability to puzzle out plots, she prefers working behind the scenes for the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, staying well away from danger. However, Daphne soon finds herself in the thick of an attempted murder case she’s determined to solve.

Mr. Herman Henderson is also a mystery writer, but unlike the dashing heroes he pens, he lives a quiet life, determined to avoid the fate of his adventurous parents, who perished on an expedition when he was a child. But when he experiences numerous attempts on his life, he seeks out the services of the eccentric Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency to uncover the culprit. All too soon, Herman finds himself stepping out of the safe haven of his world and into an adventure he never imagined.

As the list of suspects grows and sinister plots are directed Daphne’s way as well, Herman and Daphne must determine who they can trust and if they can risk the greatest adventure of all: love.

My Review-

Similar Reviews:

tw // attempted assault, pedophilia, anxiety attacks, PTSD

I was really looking forwards to this book! Since reading To Steal a Heart, book 1 in this series, I had been looking forwards to seeing Daphne’s perspective & love story on the page. She was such an interesting character and I was really looking forwards to seeing her point of view!

Unfortunately, those expectations fell a little flat. While Daphne was a really interesting character, she wasn’t as well rounded as I had expected, from the glimpses that was seen of her from the first book. Her romance with Herman was really lacking in chemistry (similar to the relationship in the first book). I didn’t get as much as a look into her head as I would have liked, and Herman was honestly a really flat character.

There wasn’t really an established backstory about Herman, nor was there any motivation behind any of the characters, both protagonist and antagonist. Herman in particular was the most nondescript man I have read in a while. His only character trait seemed to be that he was a big man. While he was a writer, he didn’t seem to have any inclinations towards writing: he never mentioned writing, he never had to spend time writing, or thinking about stories, or anything of the sort. While the story was partially told from his perspective, he didn’t contribute any interesting thoughts at all.

The story was interesting, though it was REALLY slow and felt pretty pointless. The premise was really interesting: a group of famous novel writers at a big house in the city, with someone who was trying to kill the host. However, the story was executed really poorly. The story revolved very little around the writers and the stories and the publishing content but way more about what their daily life was, but with very sparse details. It was really boring and I had to push to get through the middle third/40% of the book.

There was way less talk about the Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency than I would have liked as well: in the previous book I really enjoyed seeing the dynamics of the agency and having it come together. In addition, the dialogue was really stilted and unrealistic, and while Jen Turano’s books always require a certain level of suspension of disbelief, the dialogue in this book was unrealistic to an awkward degree.

The only part of this book that really held my attention was the discussion of the heavier topics: both Daphne and Herman’s grandmother suffer from anxiety, the grandmother to a greater degree. Daphne was sexually harassed when she was younger, and the man returns further on the book to harass her some more. In addition, (spoilers ahead in white, highlight to read, aforementioned trigger warnings)

One of the antagonists corners Daphne in the hallway and says that she has been enticing him by “flipping her hair” and “curling her hair around her finger” starting from when she was 12 or 13, and attempts to assaults her. Nothing too graphic, but he does grab her and corner her in a room. It later then comes out that he also tried to sexually assault her when she was 13 (he didn’t do it, and only ended up kissing her non consensually), causing Daphne to have lasting PTSD.

While nothing really was described very closely, it did span several pages and occupy a pretty good chunk of conversation, so if you’re sensitive to topics like that, this might not be a good book for you. With that said, these topics were handled well, and with a pretty feminist bent, and I liked how they were discussed.

Overall, I was disappointed by this book: from what was teased of it from the previous book I was expecting this book to be much more interesting than it was, but it ended up being a lot of mundane discussion instead of drama. Most of the main characters were not very well developed and the dialogue and plot were not well-thought-through. There were some pretty heavy topics discussed, and I liked how they were done, but otherwise I unfortunately didn’t really enjoy this book very much.

My Rating-

2/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

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