“Book Review: Voted Least Likely”
Reviewed by Chika Anene
A fast-paced and funny cozy mystery
Baxter Bindel, the president of Lowersex County Bank, and the son of a renowned
construction tycoon, finds himself in some unexpected trouble when he is arrested and charged with murder. He’s innocent, but the evidence is all pointing at him. How? Or maybe the right question is—who?
At a young age, Baxter loses his mother and is sent to go live with his father’s brother and wife, instead of staying at home with his tycoon father. But as he begins to come into maturity, his father brings him back—completely disrupting the life he has become so accustomed to. Due to his own father Barnaby’s lack of affection and obsession with molding Baxter into a man after his own ideals, Baxter finds himself becoming a neurotic hypochondriac, developing a stutter, and being unsuccessful with the ladies.
Although we get small previews of Baxter’s unfortunate encounters with the women who pique his interest, what takes center stage is the mystery behind the murder and money laundering he is accused of. We’re constantly wondering who did this to him, and how he’s going to get off of the conviction.
While in prison, he befriends an unlikely ally through a wooden, multi-colored bird who is willing to help him get to the bottom of the murder and clear his name. It’s a special opportunity to get insight into Baxter’s head. The mystery is fascinating, but it’s what makes the character tick that adds to most depth to the story. How else would we be able to make friends with a wooden bird?
Author Aaron T. Knight does a brilliant job of sprinkling humor into this narrative. In particular, Baxter’s interactions with the bird, whom he carries with him wherever he goes, and whose identity remains a bit mysterious, offer some of the funniest parts of the book. Just wait until you get a hold of this dynamic.
The storytelling does get a bit uneven at times, especially when Knight jumps from past and present, but overall, the author’s prose is simple and easy to understand—a staple to a good cozy mystery. While the plot is strong as a whole, and good enough to keep us moving and laughing, I may hesitate to share this book with others based on the rough book cover alone.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced mystery, you may have to venture through some murky waters from time to time, but you also might find something you love in Voted Least Likely. This mystery should keep even the pickiest reader guessing.
Genre: Mystery / Comedy
Print Length: 314 pages
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