If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

E. B. Davis's Review of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Reading Big Little Lies, compelled me to read three other books by Australian writer Liane Moriarty. There were many reasons I’ve chosen to review Big Little Lies for WWK: Unique structure, clever plot reveal, and subject matter. All of her books have elements of mystery, some involve crime such as fraud. Big Little Lies was the only one that I’ve so far read in which the plot revolved around a murder and because WWK is a mystery blog it is another reason I’ve chosen to review this book.

Ms. Moriarty writes in multiple POVs, a style that holds my interest on the page. I admire the technique because I know how hard it is to write well. This style enables readers to become acquainted with each of the three main characters in more detail and intimacy than from a single POV perspective, which for Ms. Moriarty is crucial for plot reveal. Plot pieces fall into place seamlessly as the reader receives clues from each character.

In most mysteries, the plot involves identifying the killer. We are used to reading the familiar structure of a whodunit. In Big Little Lies, the reader doesn’t know the identity of the victim or the murderer. Both are questions that prod the curiosity of the reader. Because of the complexities and complications of the plot, there are many potential victims and antagonists throughout. Choosing which ones and in what combination confounds the reader.

Ms. Moriarty also adds another element that I’d never encountered—third person statements by minor characters—giving their opinion of what happened. The reader learns, as scenes unfold, that the statements are those made to the police. When I first read these comments they made no sense to me. Some of the characters were unknown, but once introduced within the story, their loyalties are revealed, and the statements become comical and anticipated by the reader.

In Big Little Lies, Ms. Moriarty shows how bullying and abuse start. Cycles of dysfunctional behaviors learned by one generation are passed on to the next. The book could serve as a primer for
Liane Moriarty
Dysfunctional Learning 101. She shows how the cycles can be stopped, the benefits and costs of doing so, and the courage it takes to stop it.

The story focuses on the lives of three very different women who enroll their children in the same kindergarten and how the petty rivalries, overreactions, and preconceived notions of parents can lead to murder. The crime scene: an Australian kindergarten. We don’t think of murder as child’s play, but Ms. Moriarty suggests that the roots of murder may very well start on the playground.   


James Montgomery Jackson said...

I’m always interested to see how different authors use POV—both for what works and for what I find does not. And I’ve discovered there is no universality of opinion on the subject. It sounds as though Liane has done an interesting job of combining approaches.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

It sounds like a book I want to put on my TBR list. Thanks for the review, E.B.

KM Rockwood said...

Oh, my. A murder in a kindergarten room! I have to read this. Since I've spent some of my working life in schools, and wondered if I could place some of my stories there, I have to read this one!

Thanks for the interview.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

I also enjoyed reading Big Little Lies. I've read several of her books (loved The Husband's Secret)and have a great appreciation for her clever use of POV.

BTW...Excellent review!

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks, Joanne. I enjoyed reading all of her books. Each one is different and yet shares something--perhaps it is that ever elusive thing called style.

KM--it's at the school, but not actually in a classroom. I never want to give away too much information. An enjoyable and interesting read. I recommend it.

Warren Bull said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the interview.

Kara Cerise said...

How interesting that the reader doesn't know the identity of the victim or murderer. I'm intrigued. Thanks for the review, E.B.